By Joe Zaldarriaga

Conserve water

The month of March became an intense period to endure amid the extreme weather condition that was felt just a few days after the state weather bureau announced the official start of the warm and dry season.

According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the town of San Jose in Occidental Mindoro recorded the highest heat index of 47 degrees Celsius on March 25, followed by Catarman in Northern Samar, recording a sizzling 46 degrees Celsius temperature last Saturday alone. Other areas such as Albay, Bukidnon, and Pangasinan, also experienced a 41-degree temperature over the past few days.

The year 2023 is also expected to pose a new challenge to the country and the economy amid the looming El Niño season characterized by extreme heat and prolonged dry spells, which, according to the state weather bureau, may occur over the next six months.

As part of mitigating measures, the public has been urged to take precautionary measures to prevent possible illnesses that may arise during the period, as well as to conserve water amid the possibility of daily water interruptions.
Maynilad Water Services Inc., the water utility company of conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), has urged its customers to practice water conservation as it warned of the possibility of a 19-hour water interruption daily.

According to Maynilad, the shortage may persist unless the National Water Regulatory Board (NWRB) grants its petition to increase its water allocation from the dams to 52 cubic meters per second (CMS).

However, it assured that it was stepping up its efforts to boost rationing to some 20,000 connections in its service as a stopgap measure. This includes reactivation of deep wells and commissioning of modular treatment plants to produce more water from alternate sources, as well as continuous repair of pipe leaks and replacement of old pipelines to recover more water for distribution.

To mitigate the impact of the reduced available supply, Maynilad is also making available around 100 mobile water tankers for deployment, as needed. It has so far installed 83 stationary water tanks (SWT) in strategic locations, and is purchasing more SWTs for additional water storage.

On the demand side, Maynilad also advised its customers to practice efficiency in water consumption.

Instead of using a shower, the company has advised the public to use a pail and dipper instead when taking a bath, and ensure to limit the bath time.

To prevent wastage of more water, customers must also have a plumber check toilets, faucets, and pipes right away in case of any leaks.

When not in use, it is best to turn off the faucet to avoid the wastage of running water.

When washing the dishes, it is best to soak them first and scrape them clean instead of cleaning them under running water. When washing cars, use a pail and rag instead.

After doing the laundry, the public must also avoid throwing away any used water, and instead collect them and use for flushing the toilets.

Simple tips as they may seem, but with the current situation, doing these simple steps not only will help us in saving water consumption, but will also play a huge part in ensuring the availability of water to the communities as we go through the dry season together.

Editor’s note: The opinions expressed in the foregoing article are solely the author’s and do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of the Philippine News Agency (PNA) or any other office under the Presidential Communications Office.


About the Columnist

Image of Joe Zaldarriaga

Joe Zaldarriaga is a veteran, award-winning communicator immersed in public service within and beyond the energy sector. He has more than 30 years of experience serving the country’s biggest electric distribution utility and is involved in a number of public service functions, as member of various committees on public safety, power supply security and electrification. Concurrently, he is a prominent figure in the Philippine communications industry, as Chairman and Past President of the US-based International Association of Business Communicators Philippines (IABC PH). He is also an awardee of the University of Manila’s Medallion of Honor (Dr. Mariano V. delos Santos Memorial) and a Scroll of Commendation, a testament to his celebrated years in public service exemplified by outstanding communications.

Joe also shares his opinion and outlook on relevant national and consumer issues as a columnist in several prominent publications and is now venturing into new media via hosting a new vlog called Cup of Joe. Previously, Joe was a reporter and desk editor of a Broadcasting Company and the former auditor of the Defense Press Corps of the Philippines. A true green Lasalian, he finished with a degree in Asian Studies specializing in the Japan Studies program at De La Salle University, Manila, where he also spent his entire education.