Wawa ready to supply water to metropolis by 2025
WawaJVCo Inc.—a joint venture between tycoon Enrique Razon’s Prime Infrastructure Capital Inc. and Violago family-led San Lorenzo Ruiz Builders and Developers Group Inc.—has made substantial progress in developing the P26-billion Wawa Bulk Water Supply Project in Rizal province.
In an interview, WawaJVCo president Melvin John Tan said phase two of Wawa Water project is about 30 percent complete, allowing them to finish its construction on schedule.
“That is already ongoing, [with] about 30 percent progress. Our intention is to complete that by 2025,” Tan told reporters at the project site.
The joint business of the Razon and Violago groups is building the Wawa Bulk Water Supply Project, one of the government’s infrastructure flagship projects, to provide a new water source for Metro Manila and adjacent areas.
On Tuesday, WawaJVCo inaugurated the first phase of the Wawa water project over a month after kicking off its commercial run last Oct. 25, 2022.
“True to our fast and lean management approach, WawaJVCo has delivered a critical water infrastructure that supports the country’s infrastructure development agenda with speed. As you all know, this phase of the project was finished ahead of schedule in the middle of a pandemic,” Prime Infra chair Razon said in his speech.
“Even at this fast pace, we were able to secure the necessary permits and most importantly, obtain the seal of approval for the social aspects of the project further demonstrating our capability to deliver not only a vital installation but also provide economic upliftment of local communities and environmental conservation,” he added.
The Wawa project’s phase one, or the Tayabasan Weir, a 25-meter high roller compacted concrete structure, shall deliver an initial 80 million liters per day (MLD) of raw water to utility concessionaire Manila Water Co. Inc. It is located in Antipolo City.
It is comprised of three parts: the weir where water is impounded, the pumping station that brings water to the treatment plant and the buried water pipeline where the bulk water passes to reach the treatment plant.
Phase two or the Upper Wawa Dam in Rodriguez town comes with the dam and spillway, reservoir, pumping station and transmission or water conveyance pipeline. WawaJVCo earlier said the river diversion milestone had been achieved, which was seen to minimize construction execution risk.
Once the entire water project is complete, it would be able to supply at least 518 MLD of raw water to Manila Water, benefiting more than 500,000 households in the East Zone concession area.
During the inauguration ceremony, the project proponent made a royalty payment of P11.3 million to the Dumagat and Remontado indigenous people of Antipolo and Rodriguez for hosting the Wawa water project.
The Wawa project is among those proposed by the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) to the Office of the President during the term of former President Rodrigo Duterte at the height of the water crisis in 2019.
MWSS chair Elpidio Vega said this project is significant as it entailed providing additional water supply to the metropolis at “the shortest and fastest possible timeline.”
“With the onslaught of the epidemic in 2020, there were doubts whether the Wawa project can be finished on time,” he said.
“But now we are here. The short and long-term solutions for Metro Manila’s water supply demand are now in place and on phase under the Marcos administration to provide enough and sufficient water supply. The future needs of 20 million residents in the metropolis and the nearby provinces [is assured] until 2045,” Vega added.
Vega also noted prior to the Wawa project, no other water source has been built since the completion of the Angat Dam in 1967. Angat Dam supplies around 90 percent of water to the metro and adjacent provinces.
For businessman Oscar Violago, switching on the Wawa water project is a realization of his vision for the Wawa River 29 years ago.
“When I applied for water rights in 1993, nobody believed me. Through those years, I found and encountered so much opposition,” he said. INQ
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