Community Whispers by Ray Junia
Community Whispers

Prepare for scorching days

Jan 17, 2023, 5:15 AM
Ray L. Junia

Ray L. Junia

Publisher

Perhaps we are all wondering why, in a January or December, we can feel humidity and hot breezes already. Despite that we have continuous rains—from the shear line and low pressure areas in the Visayas and Mindanao that have caused extensive flooding and some landslides.

Expect scorching hot days ahead or by mid -February when El Nino sets in and an expected long drought awaits our country, therefore worse food security issues besetting us. We are now at the tailend of the La Nina, which was rather shortlived and El Nino will be upon us sooner than we expect.

With El Nino and resultant droughts, we expect short supply of water—worse than last year—and more brownouts with the Department of Energy already telling us that we would have thin power reserves, therefore more yellow and occasionally red alert levels in the Luzon grid.

Just last January 13, ultra billionaire Ricky Razon, who made vast fortunes from the ports and took over a big share of the Ayalas in Manila Water, already asked consumers in the concession area to be more frugal in the usage of water.

He has made an appeal to “make every drop count” as part of the company’s conservation efforts to ensure that supply would last and we would not have to resort to water rationing.

Manila Water has set in place a blueprint that will ensure sufficient water supply to meet the demand of its growing customer base.

Manila Water said it is embarking on a service improvement plan focused on water security and sustainability to avert any future water shortage.

The company’s water source roadmap includes water-supply augmentation projects such as the Angat-La Mesa Water System, Antipolo Water System, Laguna Lake Water System and the East Sources Water System.

The Angat-La Mesa Water System includes the Umiray-Angat transbasin rehabilitation project and the Sumag River diversion project which will further harness the Sumag River in Quezon Province, while the Antipolo Water System will draw water from Wawa-Calawis with a combined yield of 518 million liters of water by 2025.

The first phase of the Calawis project has already been completed and is undergoing commissioning and testing.

Meanwhile, the East Bay water supply project under the Laguna Lake water system will source water from the eastern flank of Laguna Lake even as the company has completed the Cardona water supply project which gets water from the central portion of the bay.

Other projects being eyed as medium- to long-term water sources include the New Wawa Dam project in Rizal Province, the Kaliwa Dam project and the Kaliwa River project which will harness water from Kaliwa River downstream of Quezon Province.

Aside from these projects, Manila Water is also boosting its climate-change mitigation programs to help ensure water supply reliability.

The company is likewise involved in the protection and reforestation of key watersheds through its watershed management program.

“Manila Water conducts several initiatives to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions while making our operations more efficient and addressing operations risks,” East Zone operations group director Joemar Emboltorio said.

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