Utilities shrug off water supply fears at Angat | Inquirer Business

Utilities shrug off water supply fears at Angat

The two water service concessionaires in Metro Manila are not concerned over the supply outlook in the summer months, even as weather experts declared the onset of a weak El Niño weather disturbance.

According to Maynilad Water Services Inc. and Manila Water Company Inc., the water level at the Angat Dam—the major source of tap water for the metropolis—remains above historical normal levels.


In its latest update issued last week, the United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said that climate factors showed an “incremental crossing of the borderline,” referring to the occurrence of El Niño.

“There is an approximately 50-60 percent chance of El Niño emerging during the next two months,” the NOAA reported. “From an impacts perspective, this is not particularly momentous, as El Niño impacts are weak in the spring and summer. Still, after months of hovering under the threshold, we can now say El Niño conditions have arrived.”


The NOAA reiterated that, due to the expected weakness of the occurrence, it would not anticipate widespread or significant global impacts.

Even then, the agency warned that certain effects often associated with El Niño would appear in some locations during the Northern Hemisphere spring, expected to start late this month.

Jeric T. Sevilla Jr., head of corporate communications at Manila Water, said that the water level at Angat stood at 201.14 meters above sea level (masl) as of 1 p.m. yesterday.

“That is still 0.92 meter above the normal range of water level,” Sevilla said. “Based on historical data, water level for March 11 ranges from 195.05 masl to 200.22 masl.”

He said that since Jan. 1, when water at Angat reached 214 masl, the level stood above the normal range.

“The supply situation is still really okay,” Sevilla said. “This just aligns with the statement of the National Water Resources Board that they do not expect a lack of water supply in the summer months.”

According to Maynilad, yesterday’s water level meant that the company would have enough to meet its customers’ needs in the coming months.


Also, Manila Water has standing contingency plans in place every summer—with or without the possible occurrence of El Niño, Sevilla said. These include stepping up the company’s pipe leak repair program, the possible reactivation of deep wells no longer used for additional sources of water, and water pressure supply management efforts.

The last one entails the possible reduction of water pressure during off-peak hours, to ensure that pressure remains normal during peak hours.

“In a worst-case scenario, we are prepared to deploy roving water tankers and to build static (overhead) tanks, but we have not had to do that in our concession area even at the height of the 2010 El Niño,” Sevilla said.

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TAGS: Business, economy, Manila Water Company Inc., Maynilad Water Services Inc., National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, News
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