MANILA – The government on Wednesday guaranteed a steady supply of water in Metro Manila amid the implementation of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) has given the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) the full water allocation of 46 cubic meters per second from the Angat Reservoir until April 30.

The MWSS oversees Metro Manila’s water concessionaires, Maynilad Water Services, Inc. and Manila Water Company, Inc.

Nograles said the NWRB’s move was meant to ensure the continuous supply of water in the National Capital Region.

“Makakaasa po tayo na tuloy-tuloy po ang daloy ng tubig dito po sa (Metro Manila) sa kalagitnaan ng enhanced community quarantine o ECQ (You can expect continuous water supply in the NCR amid the imposition of the enhanced community quarantine or ECQ),” he said in a virtual presser aired on state-owned PTV-4.

President Rodrigo Duterte imposed an ECQ in the island of Luzon to stop the further transmission of Covid-19.

The ECQ, which was supposed to expire on April 12, will end on April 30.

On March 19, Duterte signed Administrative Order 24, directing all state agencies and corporations to strictly implement water conservation measures to prevent a looming water crisis in Metro Manila.

Angat Dam supplies 97 percent of Metro Manila’s water needs.

The NWRB earlier projected that the water level in Angat Dam would be below its normal high operating level of 210 meters from January to March and below its minimum operating level of 180 meters from April to May.

The projections have prompted the NWRB to reduce the water allocation for the MWSS from its normal demand of 44 cubic meters per second (mps) to 40 mps for January 2020.

The NWRB also reduced water allocation for the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) to 20 mps or 50 percent of the total allocation requirement of NIA for the dry cropping season in agricultural areas served by the Angat Dam, such as Bulacan and Pampanga provinces. (PNA)

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