Manila Water uses technology to cushion El Niño shortage

Manila Water (MW) on Monday said its technicians are now using special acoustic equipment to detect leaks and possible pilferage among customers located outside of its Metro Manila East Zone core franchise area. In an interview, Kim Cardenas-Monis, MW corporate communications manager, said this effort is part of a Non-Revenue Water (NRW) recovery program, which has been initiated to ensure the company will have enough water to supply its paying customers until the El Niño phenomenon comes to an end next year. ‘In the East Zone (including Rizal province) our NRW (volume of wasted or pilfered water) is within world standards of below 15 percent. But in the Non-East Zone areas, it remains higher than we would like. For example, in our Laguna Water business unit, it is still at about 28 percent, down from 30 percent last January,’ she explained. Laguna Water is the result of a joint venture between MW and the Laguna provincial government and supplies 200 million liters of water a day to some 100,000 service connections in this province. The MW executive added that the company employs professional ‘leak detectors” currently going around select areas with sophisticated sound equipment that scans for signs of underground water leaks or pilferage. It was explained that each MW business unit has been tasked to develop its own El Niño mitigation plan tailored to its sources, operational needs and obligations and customer demand, based on historical El Niño effects on their respective service areas. However, Cardenas-Monis said the company’s main strategy to cushion water shortages that can come as a result of El Niño focuses on the ‘implementation, development, and energization of alternative water sources.’ ‘As El Niño is expected to bring disruptions in local weather patterns, and surging temperatures, causing dry spells, droughts, and depletion of water in water sources, at the same time, increase in demand for domestic, industrial, and agricultural use, Manila Water reiterates its call to its customers and the public for the responsible and sustainable use of water,’ the water firm said in an earlier statement. Meanwhile, MW has turned to deep wells to supply water to customers of other Non-East Zone business units, Boracay Water and Calasiao Water. Cardenas-Monis noted that Boracay Water supplies running water to Barangays Balabag, Yapak and Manoc-Manoc in Boracay Island, three villages known to be tourist hubs. Calasiao Water is a fairly new business unit and only has around 5,000 customers in the Pangasinan town, she said.

Source: Philippines News Agency