Maynilad Water: MWSS’s Kaliwa dam project badly needed as supply in south not enough

November 21, 2017 - 6:39 AM
File image of the La Mesa Water Treatment Plant. HANDOUT PHOTO FROM MAYNILAD

SYDNEY — Maynilad Water Services, Inc. is asking the government to fast track negotiations for the construction of Kaliwa dam, as it noted that water supply would be insufficient to meet customer demand by 2025.

Maynilad President and Chief Executive Officer Ramoncito S. Fernandez said they are talking with the government to ensure the Kaliwa dam project pushes through, given that supply from Angat dam, where Maynilad sources 93% of its water, would not be enough to address the growing demand after eight years.

“Because of population growth, if you project the demand versus the supply that’s available from Angat, even with the additional supply we build from Putatan, the water available is still insufficient for us in Maynilad to meet the growing demand in the south,” Mr. Fernandez told reporters in a press briefing here last week.

The P18.75-billion Kaliwa dam project is being undertaken by the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System in Quezon province, and could have a discharge capacity of 600 million liters per day (mld), as well as a 27.7 kilometer raw water conveyance tunnel with a projected capacity of 2.4 mld.

The Chinese government has pledged P10.2 billion in official development assistance for the project, which means only Chinese contractors are allowed to bid. MWSS earlier reported three Chinese contractors are interested in the project.

“So they’re now reviewing that to ensure that there won’t be a failed bid,” Mr. Fernandez said.

Should the government fail to move ahead with Kaliwa dam by 2021, Mr. Fernandez said Maynilad would have to negotiate in order to expand capacity in Putatan in order to ensure supply would be sufficient by 2025.

He noted it takes around three years to build a water treatment facility.

Currently, Maynilad is building the Putatan Water Treatment Plant (PWTP) II in Muntinlupa, slated to be finished by May 2018. The facility will add 150 mld of potable water to the southern part of its concession area.

The completion of PWTP II would bring Maynilad’s total water treatment plants to four, with a capacity of 2,700 mld covering more than nine million customers in the west zone.

Maynilad’s coverage includes Quezon City, Makati, Caloocan, Pasay, Parañaque, Las Piñas, and Valenzuela, among others, making it the largest private water concessionaire in terms of customer base.

Mr. Fernandez noted the company has already been experiencing challenges in delivering water to customers in the south due to lack of infrastructure in the area, prompting the firm to stop adding more customers in the Cavite area.

“There’s just not enough water to serve them. Those that we’re adding, I think we’re still adding around 8,000 to 10,000 customers this year. They know that they’re not getting 24-hour water. Because it’s just not possible because even though we have excess water in the north, the pipe capacity to bring it from north to south is insufficient,” Mr. Fernandez said.