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Meycauayan Water District lost 43% of production in 2023: COA

THE Meycauayan Water District lost 4.44 million cubic meters of water in 2023, representing 43.33 percent of its total production for the year while only 5.804 million cubic meters reached its concessionaires and were duly billed.

Government auditors warned that the Non-Revenue Water (NRW) is more than double the maximum allowable limit set by the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) at only 20 percent.

Converted into cash terms, the Commission on Audit said the MWD lost a whopping P226.78 million in non-revenue water equivalent to almost P19 million daily.

The good news is that water district officials know the causes: undetected leaks caused by pavement construction, an aging pipe network that could not handle the higher pressure after an injection point upgrade on October 7, 2022, and outdated meter devices.

The bad news: it has to rely on PrimeWater Infrastructure Corp. to correct the problems based on the Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) it signed with the latter in November 2017.

After PrimeWater took over the operations of the water district, the NRW rate improved fast from 55.57 percent in 2019 to 45.74 percent in 2020 and 30.41 percent in 2021.

But the MWD never attained compliance with the LWUA guidelines as in the past two years the water losses again rose sharply to 34.72 percent in 2022 and 43.33 percent last year.

The COA reminded the Meycauayan WD that it is within its rights to insist that PrimeWater resolve the water losses problem as it noted that Section 2.3 of the JVA specifically provides that one of the objectives of the agreement was “to reduce distribution losses (non-revenue water) to national or industry acceptable levels.”

“Had the Water District been more vigilant in monitoring the compliance of PrimeWater with established rules and regulations on NRW, the water loss at more than the acceptable level could have been prevented,” the COA pointed out.

The commission insisted that the MWD general manager should strictly monitor compliance by PrimeWater with the NRW limit; instruct PrimeWater to provide funding for the immediate rehabilitation of the outdated water distribution system; conduct regular calibration of flow meters; and