In our previous blog, “Water Shortage in Manila – How Asset Management Planning Helps,” we wrote about the water crisis in the east end of Metro Manila.
While we have mentioned that the shortage advisories started in early March, the water crisis
Manila Water, through their Chief Operating Officer Geodino Carpio admitted that while the dry season and El Niño aggravated their water supply, it is more of an issue of supply and demand.
While one cannot prepare enough for fortuitous catastrophic natural events, one can do a long-term infrastructure management planning to prepare better around existing and growing demand.
Angat Dam, Metro Manila’s main water source
The Angat Dam, which was constructed in the 60s, is the main water source for Metro Manila residents.
About 40 kilometers from the northeast of Manila, the dam supplies 98 percent of Metro Manila’s water needs. It also runs a hydro-electric power plant.
From the Angat Dam, water flows through two concrete diversion tunnels down to the Ipo Dam. The Ipo Dam serves as an intermediate intake and waterManila Water. Corporate/Services: “Water and Used Water Facilities – Water Source”. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
isthen conveyed through three intake structures at the dam going to three connecting tunnels. Water from the three tunnels flows to three settling basins in Bicti, Norzagaray which are connected to five Bicti-Novaliches aqueducts. The five aqueducts can deliver a maximum capacity of 4,500 million litersper day at the Novaliches Portal.
It is important to know that there are two companies that provide water utility services for the whole of Metro Manila. Maynilad manages the west zone (60 percent) and Manila Water, the east zone (40 percent).
Even if Manila Water’s zone only is experiencing a shortage of supply, Maynilad is still affected as the latter had to share some of its supply to alleviate the crisis situation. And despite tapping wells and the prospect of getting additional water from nearby Laguna lake, the solutions are only remedial.
Metro Manila Water Demand
Based on the “INFOGRAPHIC: Tracing the water shortage in Metro Manila”, Metro Manila’s total water demand is 4.2 billion liters per day, servicing a total of 16.3 million people.
Of these data, Manila Water serves 6.8 million people with water demand reaching 1.7 billion liters per day.
In East Manila between 1997 and the end of 2009, tWikipedia. “Water Privatization in Metro Manila”. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
population served more than doubled from 3 to 6.1 million (2009) and the share with access to piped water increased from 49 percent to 94 percent (2006). he
Explaining what caused the Manila Water’s crisis, Singapore-based TODAY online says:
The water crisis in Manila was due to a combination of factors: Infrastructure delays, rising demand and the dry spell shrinking supply at dams.
Manila Water — the sole provider of water and wastewater services to more than six million people in the East Zone of Metro Manila — does not have access to enough water sources to cover growing demand.
The company reportedly has a shortage of 140 million litres daily.Today. “What caused Manila’s water crisis and why Duterte is asking Singapore for help”. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
Infrastructure asset management planning and its important role in demand and crisis management
As noted in our previous post, long term water demand projections can be problematic in rapidly growing urban areas. Manila has experienced huge population growth, and it is expected that this will continue as the overall Philippines population growth continues to surge.
Equally problematic is arranging the timely funding of infrastructure building projects to meet demand, which often leads to delays in the construction of infrastructure, and subsequent high potential for supply capacity issues in meeting demand.
In water supply, these capacity issues become more apparent in dry spells.
Infrastructure Asset Management planning, particularly the analysis of long term future demand trends provides the tools to undertake sufficient planning to predict the infrastructure needed to meet the predicted demand.
Funding and building the required infrastructure prior to demand shortages is always challenging, given the wide range of infrastructure capacity building required by rapidly growing cities like Manila.
Climate change and climate adaptation requirements add another layer of complexity and analysis that must be considered.
For example, is sea level rise and flooding going to disrupt settlement areas and patterns?
What impact do larger storm events and drought events have on the infrastructure required to deliver services?