Water woes: NWRB OKs opening of deep wells of hospitals

Isay Reyes, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 15 2019 07:40 AM

Hospitals with deep wells that have been closed down for years can be opened in response to the water shortage in Manila Water's service areas, the National Water Resources Board said Thursday. 

NWRB Executive Director Sevillo David Jr said at least one hospital in Mandaluyong has opened up its deep well to address the water shortage. 

"Critical service 'yan eh pero titignan po natin kung may ano 'yan, kung gaano karami 'yung tubig na pwedeng gamitin diyan. Titignan natin kung makakatulong ito sa karatig lugar ng hospital. Pero sa ngayon ang nakikita natin, para ma-sustain ang pangangailangan ng hospital kasi critical service," David told ABS-CBN News. 

NWRB Resolution 001-0904 issued in 2004 allows groundwater extraction to help ensure unhampered operation of hospitals, fire-fighting stations and other infrastructure providing vital services to the public. 

The NWRB has been closing down deep wells in parts of Metro Manila starting 2004 following a moratorium on the acceptance of water permit application to conserve groundwater. At that time, groundwater was at a critical level and needed preservation. 

"Napansin namin na bumababa na 'yung level ng groundwater kaya kailangan natin i-manage. Para maka recover siya, para magamit natin sa mga panahon na may emergency tayo," he said. 

The agency has also received several requests from different households and private sectors to re-open deep wells. This is possible, Domingo said, but with permission from the office. Deep wells will go through evaluation and rehabilitation before it is opened. 

"Mahirap naman na payagan natin lahat kung may supply naman na maibibigay. Kung pwede naman matugunan ng MWSS at nung concessionaires nila, mas maganda na huwag gamitin," he said. 

The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System earlier said reopening deep wells could help cover the deficit in Manila Water's water supply.