Bulacan towns gain access to potable water

Seven more towns in the province of Bulacan are set to gain access to potable water from San Miguel Corp. (SMC)’s Bulacan Bulk Water Supply Project (BBWSP).

SMC said it has recently formalized agreements with seven water districts in Bulacan.

These include the towns of Norzagaray, Hagonoy, Pandi, Baliwag, San Rafael, San Miguel, and San Ildefonso, which will be covered by the third stage of the BBWSP.

“We are targeting [the] start of operations by January 2023. With these agreements signed with the seven water districts, and with the MWSS (Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewage System ) having approved the updated business plan, we can now start preliminary engineering design, and then construction,” said SMC president Ramon Ang.

“We anticipate that in just a year-and-a-half, we can start operating these new water facilities, and all our countrymen in these areas in Bulacan will finally have reliable access to safe, affordable potable water,” Ang added.

Many households in Bulacan relied on deep wells that tapped into groundwater sources, despite the province’s close proximity to Angat Dam.

Apart from poor water quality, Ang said that the depletion of groundwater has also contributed to land subsidence and flooding all over Bulacan.

“With more residents able to immediately access water through our facilities, the need to rely on dwindling groundwater supply is eliminated,”Ang said.

“Experts have said groundwater extraction is one of the causes of land subsidence, or the gradual sinking of the ground, and this worsens flooding in the province. Like our upcoming major clean up of Bulacan’s rivers, the BBWSP forms part of our larger strategy to help mitigate and solve flooding here,” he added.

The BBSWP started commercial operations in 2019.

Currently, BBWSP supplies water to 13 areas, covered by Stage one and two development of the facility.

These include San Jose del Monte, Marilao, Meycauayan, Bocaue, Obando and Balagtas, Guiguinto, Calumpit, Bulakan, Plaridel, Sta. Maria, Paombong, and Malolos.

SMC said it hopes to soon forge agreements with four more water districts soon particularly, Pulilan, Angat, Dona Remedios Trinidad, and Bustos.

The BBWSP is a public-private partnership (PPP) project of Luzon Clean Water Development Corporation (LCWDC) and K-Water Resources Corporation consortium, with the MWSS.

LCWDC is responsible for the financing, construction, operations, and maintenance of the three project stages.

The BBWSP produces an average volume of 160 million liters per day for around 165,000 households, and has a maximum capacity of 388 million liters per day.