Water is an important resource this time, not only because of the summer season, but water is severely used for sanitation purposes and prevention of spreading of the COVID-19 virus. We use water for constantly washing our hands, for disinfecting our spaces, for cleaning-up our communities.
But as the water demand increases, the available water supply continues to decline. The water level at Angat Dam, the main water source for Metro Manila, is currently at 196.22 meters, which is significantly below the 212-meter ideal level to ensure that supply is adequate. Operational adjustments have been made and MWSS have implemented decreased water allocation to the concessionaires such as Maynilad and Manila Water Co. Inc. to manage Angat’s water supply to make it last. More rotational water service interruptions are anticipated to happen as the temperature increases, affecting thousands of residents in Metro Manila. Most will get limited supply of water for a few hours on a daily basis.
Individuals can contribute in their own ways from the impacts of scarce water resources by doing the following, according to Maynilad:
- Report pipe leaks and illegal connections to Maynilad Hotline 1626.
- Don’t rinse dishes using running water. Use a basin so water is not wasted.
- Wash your fruits and vegetables in a basin of water instead of running water from the faucet.
- Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your driveway and sidewalk.
- Collect the water you use for washing fruits and vegetables, then reuse it to water plants.
- Cut down on your shower by a minute or two. This way, you can save up to 150 gallons per month.
- Designate one glass for your drinking water each day or refill a water bottle. This will cut down on the number of glasses to wash.
- Don’t use running water to thaw food.
- Turn off faucets tightly after each use.
- Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.
- Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth and save 25 gallons a month.
- Turn off the shower while washing your hair to save up to 150 gallons a month.
- Turn off the water while shaving and save up to 300 gallons a month.
- When showering, keep a bucket or basin near the showerhead. This way, you can collect some water to flush your toilet or water your plant.
- When washing your hands, don’t keep the faucet open run while you lather.
While individual contributions are vital, everyone still have to think of long-term solutions to provide safe and reliable drinking water sources to people.
Safe water and adequate sanitation are both necessary to achieve resiliency and sustainable development. Without it, poverty ensues; ecosystems are disrupted; and agricultural water production and power generation losses pile up. The economy suffers.
By developing and implementing water safety planning, strengthening systems and capacity for drinking-water quality surveillance and monitoring, and improving water, sanitation, and hygiene in health care facilities, the Philippines can ensure water for all that will protect the peoples’ health and help drive sustainable development forward.