Maynilad pushes water security, service measures

Since its remarkable turnaround over the last 10 years following its reprivatization in 2007, Maynilad Water Services has been investing in adaptation controls for resiliency and future proofing for better water quality and service efficiency even as company president Ramoncito S. Fernandez has called for closer collaboration among all stakeholders to ensure adequate water supply.

Maynilad’s La Mesa and Putatan Water Treatment Plants are currently undergoing upgrades and retrofitting to face the threats of rising turbidity levels in its raw water sources.

“We are investing in additional treatment technologies so that these facilities can handle the now-unpredictable variations in raw water quality,” Fernandez said.

Because of infrastructure limitation, another program that Maynilad implements is the “distributed water sources” or smaller reservoirs spread out in different locations.

“We adopted this same principle in our wastewater management program by building small Sewage Treatment Plants and spreading it out to cover all sub-catchments,” he says. “This strategy has enabled Maynilad to meet increasing demand and enhance supply reliability, and expand wastewater coverage despite the lack of real estate and other constraints. But, we can only do much with these solutions, so we continue to work with LGU’s, government agencies and securing needed real estate and corresponding permits.”

Maynilad is closely coordinating with MWSS in ensuring additional water supply is delivered to the identified growth areas in its concession. “We are looking at advanced treatment technologies that will allow us to harness other water sources—such as seawater and or re-used water—and make these safe for domestic and industrial use,” Fernandez said. “Until then, we strive to optimize the current supply by tightening our distribution system for better supply distribution and water recovery. We also work closely with all Angat Dam stakeholders to sustain the water requirements of our customers, especially during times of El Niño.”

“We really need to source water from other dams or other areas which is precisely why we are working on our Kaliwa dam project as well as Laguna Lake,” MWSS Administrator General Reynaldo Velasco pointed out. “The need to look for other water sources is paramount because of our overall water security program in the event that a major disaster strikes as 95.6 percent of Metro Manila’s water supply come from Angat and Ipo dams. There is no such thing as oversupply of water because the concessionaires can always expand and if something happens to Angat, at least we have alternative sources of water supply.”

Maynilad has also been investing heavily in new water infrastructure. Its investments in more pumping stations, reservoirs, and pipe replacements are part of its solution to improve resiliency to climate change leading to reliable supply.

“The adoption of new technologies is crucial in our bid to keep improving efficiencies,” says Fernandez. “We are in the process of fully automating our operations. This includes the installation of variable-frequency drives and high-efficiency motors in our pumping stations that automatically adjust operation speed based on water consumption demand, thus promoting power savings and reduced carbon emissions. This is also to progress to demand-based rather than supply-based water operations.”

Another program, Plant for Life, allows employees and volunteers from partner organizations to plant tree-saplings at the Ipo watershed, and mangrove propagation along the coastal areas of Manila Bay and Laguna Lake to improve forest cover and improve water retention capability.

Through its education campaigns, Maynilad teaches the public about the importance of water conservation and sanitation using various touchpoints. Fernandez points out that they have thousands of Water Warriors in the schoolchildren, barangay residents, and cause oriented groups who were reached by these campaigns.