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Revisit: Filipino inventor’s portable water treatment device

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Friday, March 15th, 2019

Not all country has access to clean water and the Philippines is not the only country experiencing water shortage.

According to the United Nations, 2.1 billion people have no access to clean and drinkable water. Each year, 1.5 million children die due to diarrhea.

Other areas, especially those in the desert, also have difficulty in getting water.

In Yemen and Morocco, some resourceful individuals are able to draw water by building nets that gather fog and convert the moisture into water.

In the Philippines, UNTV News was able to document the portable water treatment device of Ernesto Labuntog in 2015.

It can filter water gathered from rain, rivers, and even floods.

During Labuntog’s demo, he collected standing water found in the area and mixed it with soil. He added chlorine to kill bacteria and coagulants to remove other elements. After a few minutes, he conducted a potability test to ensure that the process is going smoothly.

He poured the water into a portable water device that has a cartridge filter for the initial process. The device also has a multimedia filter located below.

Labuntog was the first one to drink the water after it was filtered in the device.

Five gallons of flood water only costs P2.50 while five liters of flood only costs 25 centavos.

“Iyon ang nagpapatunay na ang tubig na maduduming kinukuha natin ay naiinom after going through the process [It proves that any water we collected can be drinkable after going through the process],” Labuntog said.

One unit of this device can supply water for 10 households for six months. A hundred of these units were already used during typhoon Pablo in Compostella Valley and during the cholera outbreak in Catanduanes.

Labuntog already offered the device to different government agencies but none responded.

Some foreigners took interest in the device but he did not sell it to them.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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Angat Dam water level dips further below critical level

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Thursday, July 11th, 2019

As of 6:00 a.m. on Thursday (July 11), the water level in Angat Dam has dipped lower than the critical level at 159.93 meters.

This is lower compared to the 160.30 meters recorded on Wednesday (July 10).

The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) reduced the amount of  water allocated to Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) from 46 cubic meters per second (cms) to 36 cms.

Meanwhile, Maynilad and Manila Water continue to implement water service interruptions.—AAC

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Group urges Gov’t to limit water usage in pools, other businesses amid supply woes

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Saturday, June 22nd, 2019

Photo by Nelly Aran from Pexels

MANILA, Philippines – A labor group on Saturday (June 22) called on the national government to intervene in the worsening water supply issues in Metro Manila due to the rapidly dropping water level at Angat Dam.

The Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) suggested for the government to limit the usage of water-intensive facilities, such as swimming pools and other businesses until the water at Angat dam stabilizes.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) on Saturday reported that Angat Dam’s water level dropped to 159.78 meters.

“Because water is a basic requirement for the 13 million Metro Manila residents, it must be given priority over the profit margin of businesses,” the group said in a statement.

“To address the intermittent water supply required to households of Metro Manila, government must intercede to limit the water usage of water-intensive facilities and businesses such as golf courses, swimming pools and water fountains,” it added.

The group estimated there are about 15 golf courses in areas covered by both water concessionaires Maynilad and Manila Water, including publicly-owned Veterans and Camp Aguinaldo golf courses in Quezon City and the Army and Navy golf clubs in Fort Bonifacio.

There are also over 10,000 swimming pools all over the metropolis, including water parks, swimming resorts, club houses, indoor pools of condominiums and private pools in posh subdivisions.

“Why should the people stand in line for water rations on a daily basis when the elite consume so much water for their luxuries? Why are the poor again the first to sacrifice during a water crisis when they did not benefit when both Maynilad and Manila Water were brimming with profit,” said BMP leader Leody De Guzman in a statement.

The BMP also called for the suspension of building permits for new businesses which require huge amounts of water until Angat dam water level stabilizes.

The group also called on the government, particularly the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) to study the deployment of more radical contingency measures to address the worsening water supply in Metro Manila as its public appeal for water conservation is not enough.

The BMP is also pushing for the reversal of the policy of water privatization that resulted into the concession of the operations of the Metropolitan Wateworks and Sewerage Systems (MWSS).

The group claims the privatization of Metro Manila’s water supply did not improve services and sustain the needs of Metro Manila residents.

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NWRB further reduces MM water allocation as Angat Dam runs dry

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Saturday, June 22nd, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Metro Manila residents will have to race each other for water rations as taps may dry out due to the continues drop in Angat Dam’s water level.

According to NWRB Executive Director Sevillo David, the reduction of water allocation for Metro Manila from 40 cubic meters per second to 36 cms. takes effect today Saturday (June 22).

As of 6:00 a.m. Saturday (June 22), Angat Dam’s water level has dropped further below critical mark by 0.50 meters to 159.78 meters from 160.28 meters on Friday.

David confirmed that if Angat’s water reserve dips further at the rate of 0.50 meters per day within the next five days, it will break the lowest level recorded at 156.57 meters in July 2010.

On June 18, the NWRB reduced the water allocation for Metro Manila from 46 cms to 40 cms to lessen the effect of limited water supply in the coming days.

Nevertheless, state weather bureau PAGASA’s weather specialist Chris Perez said some parts of the country including Metro Manila may expect rains next week.

“Possible po kasi na mid next week hanggang weekend may mga pagulan (Rains are possible by mid next week until weekend) over some parts of Central and Southern Luzon and Visayas because of a possible habagat episode,” Perez said.

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