The Enrique Razon-led Prime Infra, through a partnership with San Lorenzo Ruiz Builders and Developers Group (SLRBD), plans to develop a water supply facility of over 500 million liters per day (MLD) at the Wawa catchment area traversing the municipality of Rodriguez and city of Antipolo, both in the province of Rizal. With a planned capacity of over 500 million liters per day (MLD), the water source is strategically located to serve the expansion areas of the east zone concessionaire of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) — Manila Water Company.
Prime Infra recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Manila Water to cooperate in the possible development of the Wawa Bulk Water Supply Project. The agreement formalizes the formation of a Technical Team that will conduct a technical study, of which shall be reviewed and approved by the MWSS.
Razon says: “This is not an immediate fix, but rather a medium to long term solution. Yet our project is one of the fastest and most sustainable ways to solve this current water crisis. If we don’t act now, this will be a recurring problem.”
As facilitated by MWSS Administrator Reynaldo Velasco, talks are on-going between Prime Infra and Manila Water to start the project at the soonest possible time, especially considering the current water crisis. Administrator Velasco has expressed that he wants to secure the water supply needs of the agency’s franchise area, of which the Wawa Bulk Water Supply Project is an integral part of.
For his part, Anthony Violago, SLRBD president, says, “This is an important step towards resolving the legal impediment preventing the development of one of the most strategic water supply source for Metro Manila.”
Water experts have long-cited Wawa as the best potential water supply source for Metro Manila. Compared to Laguna Lake and other similar water supply options, it does not require an expensive treatment technology like reverse osmosis. At its capacity, it can serve more than 500,000 households in the MWSS franchise area.
Guillaume Lucci, Prime Infra president and COO, is optimistic that the project will get going considering government’s support to fast-track this needed new water source for Metro Manila and the Rizal Province: “The proximity and water source quality of the Wawa catchment area will allow us to deliver first water no later than 2022.
Because of the scale and life cycle cost of large dams, the public can be assured that we will deliver it in a cost-effective manner.”