The water shortage that hit the East Zone of Metro Manila in April spurred a lot of proposals and plans to ensure it does not happen again – among them, saving our rainwater in cisterns during the rainy season, building weirs, in the absence of dams, to conserve river water, drawing of more water from Laguna de Bay and from old wells, and creation of a Department of Water for a more organized approach to solving our annual water problem.
Among all these and other good ideas within the realm of possibility, we are assured of one project that will definitely help to solve our water problem. This project, announced the other day by the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), was the approval of the Wawa Bulk Water Project which will provide an additional supply of 80 million liters a day (MLD) by 2021, 500 MLD by 2025.
The project is a joint venture between Enrique Razon’s Prime Infra and Oscar Violago’s San Lorenzo Ruiz Builders Group to tap the Wawa Dam, also known as the Montalban Dam, in the Sierra Madre Mountains east of Metro Manila in Rodriguez, Rizal. Wawa Dam used to be the only source of water for Manila until Angat Dam was built and Wawa was abandoned in 1968.
The time has come for us to draw water once again from Wawa in view of the fast-growing population of Metro Manila, MWSS Chairman Franklin Demonteverde and Administrator Reynaldo Velasco said as they announced the approval of the Wawa project.
The 500 million liters a day it will provide by 2025 will boost Manila Water’s water production by 30 percent for the East Zone of Metro Manila. Looking ahead, other possible water sources are now being studied, among them, Putatan, Cardona, Sumag River, Calawis, Rizal Wellfield, Lower Ipo, Muntinlupa, Laguna Lake, and Kaliwa Dam in Quezon Province.
Prme Infra Chairman Razon cited the decisive leadership of the MWSS for approval of the project which should solve the recurring problem of water shortage. The tariff impact of the Wawa project is expected to be minimal because of the strategic location of the new water supply source in the East Zone.
Metro Manila continues to grow and so the search for other new sources of water must continue, along with the upgrading of the established systems of tunnels and aqueducts. The Wawa project is a major step forward and should be followed by other steps so that we will not have to go through the ordeal suffered last April in the East Zone of Metro Manila.
Source: Manila Bulletin
Photo: Courtesy of Manila Bulletin