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ADB loan to help upgrade Manila’s water supply system

Staff writer |
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $123.3 million loan for a new water tunnel to help modernize Manila’s water supply.

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This will reduce the risk of shortages as demand for water rises in tandem with the city’s booming population.

“The Angat transmission system provides more than 95% of Manila’s water but its existing tunnels are up to 75 years old and in poor condition, leaving the metropolitan area highly vulnerable to serious supply disruptions,” said Paul van Klaveren, Senior Urban Development Specialist with ADB’s Southeast Asia Department.

“This assistance will allow the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) to build a fourth tunnel, clearing the way for it to upgrade and modernize its other existing tunnels and aqueducts to maximize and strengthen supplies.”

The MWSS is a government-owned corporation, supplying raw water for Manila, with two private companies holding distribution concessions.

Demand for water has grown strongly to around 40 cubic meters a second, with the concessionaires largely able to meet demand in the past by sharply reducing nonrevenue water, or water that is produced but does not reach the customer due to system faults.

However, with demand still increasing, the MWSS is planning to develop a major new water source, which is expected to be operational after 2021.

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