MM villages, condos urged to save water

While assuring the public that Metro Manila will have sufficient water supply coming from Angat Dam and other water sources that have been activated, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Water Resources Management Office (DENR-WRMO) recently issued a bulletin on Water Management for Metro Manila Villages and Condominiums to ensure sufficient water supply in the metro as the country continues to experience El Niño.

According to the DENR bulletin, El Niño is causing lower-than-average rainfall in the country and the condition is likely to persist in April and May before it reverts to neutral conditions by June 2024.

The office added that in the small chance that drought conditions continue beyond May and June, villages and condominium property managers are directed to observe water management measures such as informing all residents of the WRMO Bulletin and encouraging them to practice easy-to-do water conservation measures and hacks, and to purchase home appliances that help save water.

Village and condominium managers were also instructed to regularly check water meters, in the early morning or late at night, when there is no activity, to detect any possible leaks. Watering of plants and lawns in common areas and cleaning of roads and sidewalks should only be done when necessary.

WRMO also encouraged the use of water catchment systems such as drums in downspouts to collect and store water to be used for cleaning, and to postpone swimming pool maintenance work that will require draining and replacing the water from the pool.

The WRMO prohibits households to use water hose for car washing, cleaning of driveways and watering of lawns, and to instead use a pail and dipper or tabo.  

Consider the water conserved with easy-to-do tips for the home.

  • Unobserved leaks can account for 15 to 40 percent of water used every month. During late at night or early in the morning, check water meter for activity when no one is using water inside the house.
  • Save 500 to 1,000 liters every month in dishwashing. Wash dishes right away to easily remove food waste. Otherwise, soak plates prior to washing.
  • Save five to ten liters of water in washing clothes. When possible, run the washing machine at full load, and use the proper amount of detergent to use less water when rinsing.
  • Save up to 568 liters of water per month when taking a bath. Shorten shower time by a minute or two.
  • Save six liters of water when toilet paper is not flushed. Dispose of toilet paper in the trash and do not flush in the toilet bowl.
  • Take out frozen food in advance to avoid using running water to thaw.
  • Water plants early in the morning or late in the afternoon to reduce evaporation.

Water-saving hacks

  • Place a 250-ml bottled water in the water tank of your toilet and leave as long as flushing capacity is not reduced. Savings: 0.25 liters per flush
  • Use a sink basin to wash fruits and vegetables instead of using running water. Savings: 20 to 50 liters per month
  • Put a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank water. If it seeps in the toilet bowl, there is a leak. Savings when fixed: 3,785 liters per month.

Best buys

  • Use inexpensive faucet aerators to decrease water volume in every use.
  • Use a thermos to keep hot water instead of boiling a kettle-full for a cup of hot water
  • Toilets with dual flush features. The low flush feature (smaller button) saves three liters per flush
  • Shower head with adjustable settings and garden hose with an adjustable nozzle
  • Energy star-certified washing machines can save up to 26,498 liters per year

WRMO said DENR personnel will conduct spot checks and information drives in the coming weeks and requests for assistance in their work.

The Bulletin was jointly issued by the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) and the National Water Resources Board (NWRB).

The DENR-WRMO was created by President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. by virtue of Executive Order No. 22 issued on April 27, 2023. The WRMO is responsible for the integration and harmonization of all government efforts and regulatory activities to ensure availability and sustainable management of water resources in the whole country.

For any detected leaks, illegal use of fire hydrants and/or illegal connections in the compound that may need immediate attention, contact the DENR-WRMO at [email protected] or MWSS at 0967-3197144 or 0943-4648776. For leaks along streets and before the meter, report to Manila Water or Maynilad.