THE National Water Resource Board (NWRB) will be reactivating at least 91 deep wells in Metro Manila to help the worsening water crisis in the metropolis and the adjacent province of Rizal being served by private water concessionaire, Manila Water.
In yesteday’s press conference, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said that the decision to reactivate the deep wells was reached during the recent emergency meeting attended by the representatives of Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), Manila Water, Maynilad and the NWRB.
“Napagkasunduan na nga na kailangan nang tulungan ang Manila Water dito sa kakulangan ng tubig. So nagkaroon ng across border nga na sinasabi na tulong ng Maynilad at Manila Water na as of this month, nag-assure sila ng 20 million liters per day and magiging 50 million liters ito per day sa April,” Antiporda said.
Antiporda assured that the people have nothing to worry since the present situation will not be worsened since all concerned agencies are now working to address the water shortage problem.
He added that the Cardona Treatment Plant will also be utilized and it can supply at least 22 million liters per day until end of this month and an additional of 28 million liters per day this coming April.
“Ang target natin ay 150 million liters per day, yan ang shortage natin, so since 100 na yan, yung NWRB naman ay kumilos na rin para mai-activate naman ang mga sinara nating deep wells na makakapagbigay sa atin ng at 30 million liters per day this month. At sa April naman, we’re looking at another 50 million liters per day,” Antiporda added.
Antiporda, however, said that the reactivated deep wells will be regulated and managed by the MWSS and will be used until October only.
The NWRB, on the other hand, Antiporda said will only be assisting the MWSS and Manila Water on the identification of the deep wells that will be reactivated. He also clarified that there will be coordination between the MWSS and NWRB in the use of these deep wells.
“After October, muli isasara ang mga deep wells na ito at pangagasiwaan ng MWSS para ma-monitor natin ang papayagan na magbukas,” Antiporda said.
He explained that the NWRB will be monitoring the MWSS’ management of the deep wells in order not to compromise the integrity of water source.
“Although the water coming from these deep wells is not safe for drinking and cooking, but still it can augment the water requirements of Metro Manila households. Puwede gamitin ang tubig na ito mula sa deep well sa paghugas ng mga plato or paggamit sa banyo pero malaking tulong na rin ito sa problema sa tubig ngayon,” Antiporda stressed.
In 2004, the NWRB, an attached agency of DENR, has been shutting down deep wells in Metro Manila in view of a moratorium on the acceptance of water permit application to conserve groundwater. The moratorium was issued since the groundwater, at that time, was at a critical level and needed preservation.