Wawa Dam tapped anew for Metro water

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

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