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MWSS pushes devt of alternative water sources

    Published : Friday, September 30, 2011 00:00 [ manilatimes.net ]
    Written by : Euan Paulo C. Añonuevo Reporter

STATE-RUN Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) is pushing for the development of alternative water supply sources for the National Capital Region.

Ramon Alikpala, MWSS chairman, said Metro Manila needs investments of between $350 million and $1 billion to put up additional supply projects.

“We are already aware of the potential sources. It’s just identifying which is the most viable sources over the next few years,” he said.

Among the projects the MWSS is considering are proposals to tap the Wawa and Kaliwa river, the Sierra Madre mountain range, and the botched Laiban dam project for bulk water supply.

Metro Manila’s drinking water demand is placed at roughly 4,000 million liters per day, 97 percent of which comes from the 40-year-old Angat dam. By 2015, demand is projected to increase by another 1,600 million liters per day.

The MWSS earlier tied up with the World Bank for a study on Metro Manila’s projected demand for potable drinking water in the coming years and potential sources.

“At the same time we’re also looking at it as a security perspective. Mahirap naman if all your eggs [are] in one basket. Ano mangyayari if something happens to Angat? Ano mangyayari satin? Also do we want large sources or several small ones?” Alikpala said.

The official said that once the World Bank study is complete sometime next month, the MWSS can identify which projects to pursue.

The projects could be undertaken through a public-private-partnership or by the MWSS on its own, depending on which mode the government chooses.

“When it does get bid out it will probably [be] sometime middle next year. We have to develop a feasibility for NEDA and that could take a while,” Alikpala said, referring to the National Economic and Development Authority.
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