Prime Infra, a company led by port magnate Enrique Razon Jr., plans to develop the Wawa catchment area in Rizal province as a source of more than 500 million liters of potable water per day.
The company said it would team up with San Lorenzo Ruiz Builders and Developers Group to develop the project in the area traversing the municipality of Rodriguez and city of Antipolo. The water source is strategically located to serve the expansion areas of the east zone concessionaire of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System—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 formalized the formation of a technical team that will conduct a technical study which will be reviewed and approved by the MWSS.
“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,” Razon said.
Discussions, facilitated by MWSS administrator Reynaldo Velasco, are on-going between Prime Infra and Manila Water to start the project soon, considering the current water crisis.
Velasco said he wanted 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.
SLRBD president Anthony Violago said the project would be “an important step towards resolving the legal impediment preventing the development of one of the most strategic water supply sources for Metro Manila.”
Water experts have long cited Wawa as the best potential water supply source for Metro Manila.
Compared with 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.
Prime Infra president and chief operating officer Guillaume Lucci is optimistic that the project will get going considering government’s support to fast-track the new water source for Metro Manila and 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,” he said.