Water companies spar over supply allocation

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MANILA WATER Co., Inc. has downplayed claims by Maynilad Water Services, Inc. that the amount of water that enters the La Mesa treatment plants remains below what the West Zone concessionaire is entitled to receive.

“Adjustments have been made since Friday and are being monitored,” said Jeric T. Sevilla, Manila Water corporate communications head, in a text message when asked about Maynilad’s statement.

Manila Water also said: “Continuous adjustments are being made on a daily basis and are being monitored.”

On Sunday, Maynilad said that despite its talks with state agency Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System and Manila Water last Friday on appropriate raw water allocations, it still was not getting enough.

“Until Maynilad is given its appropriate raw water allocation, it will not be able to bring water supply for its customers to normal levels. Maynilad has been receiving less than its 60% share since April 1, causing its stored water to plunge,” it said.

Maynilad said given the limited supply that its treatment plants received on Saturday, stored water at its Bagbag reservoir would last only until 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Because of this, the same Maynilad customers who have been experiencing daily service interruptions since April 12 will again have low water pressure to no water supply on Sunday night at 7 p.m. until 4 a.m. the following day, Maynilad said.

Mr. Sevilla explained that an office called “common purpose facility,” which includes representatives MWSS and the water concessionaires, is responsible for the water allocation.

“Fluctuations in allocations are common that may favor Maynilad at times and Manila Water at some point,” he said. “It just takes time for Maynilad to fill up its reservoir and build pressure so there are areas in their concession with low pressure or water interruption in their concession area.”

Maynilad said it was reviewing existing protocols on the raw water sharing with Manila Water so it could propose changes that would prevent the same situation from recurring.

It appealed to MWSS to have Manila Water restore Maynilad’s 60% share. — Victor V. Saulon