New Php5.6B aqueduct to ensure continuous water supply in East Zone inaugurated
Manila Water held the ceremonial commissioning of the Novaliches-Balara Aqueduct 4 (NBAQ4) in Quezon City. The new aqueduct, which will convey up to 1,000 million liters of water per day (MLD), will pave the way for the inspection, assessment, and subsequent rehabilitation of three other existing aqueducts, which have been operating since 1929, 1956, and 1968, respectively, to help ensure continuous water supply for more than 7 million customers in the East Zone.
The NBAQ4, one of Manila Water’s flagship projects, is part of the water concessionaire’s improvement and expansion initiatives in the East Zone, in coordination with the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS).
Guest of honor during the event was Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Manuel Bonoan. Also in attendance were MWSS Board of Trustees Chairman Justice Elpidio Vega, MWSS Administrator Engr. Leonor “Bobby” Cleofas, MWSS Chief Regulator Atty. Patrick Ty, Mr. Emil Caling representing Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Deputy Chairman Usec. Frisco San Juan, Quezon City 5th District Councilor Joseph Visaya representing Mayor Joy Belmonte, and representatives from other national and local government offices.
“I know I have to participate in this occasion to emphasize the importance of collaborative efforts in achieving clean, reliable supply of water consistent with priorities under the ‘Build, Better, More’ infrastructure development thrust of the Administration of President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos… Today is really a reason to celebrate as the Novaliches-Balara Aqueduct 4 or the NBAQ4 will be the lifeline of over 7 million customers in [Metro Manila] East Zone,” guest of honor Secretary of Public Works and Highways Manuel Bonoan said during his keynote speech.
Councilor Joseph Visaya of the 5th District of Quezon City delivered Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte’s message. Visaya highlighted the conscious effort of Manila Water not to disrupt the daily activities in the city despite the sheer magnitude of the project.
“The construction of the NBAQ4 did not cause any inconvenience to our residents, our commuters, and businesses. This innovation is a testament to their commitment to provide reliable and efficient services to our constituencies,” Visaya said.
“I will focus on three Ps: Partnership, Promise, and a Plea. Partnership—this is a testament to the ecosystem that we have, not only with the government, but our private partners… Our Pledge to you is that we will continue to work silently but very effectively to bring a very unappreciated resource to our customers. The last P is Plea—let us honor the real heroes, the men and the women who built this [NBAQ4]. Our plea is not only to honor them but to respect the work that they put in,” Manila Water President and CEO Jocot De Dios said addressing the attendees and guests at the inauguration.
The Php 5.6B NBAQ4 project involves the construction of a new intake facility and access bridge at the La Mesa reservoir, a 7.3-kilometer underground aqueduct with a 3.1-meter diameter passing under Commonwealth Avenue, and an outlet portal and downstream distribution works at the Balara Treatment Plant. This project used a tunnel-boring machine (TBM), which was named “Dalisay”. It was the first time in the Philippines a TBM was used in an urban setting, allowing the massive pipelaying project to proceed underneath Commonwealth Avenue without disturbing traffic since its launch in 2020. The TBM broke through at the La Mesa Reservoir in August 2021. The facility is currently undergoing process proving and testing in preparation for its full operation.
The new massive aqueduct supports the current administrations thrust for greater infrastructure development under its ‘Build, Better, More” flagship program which focuses on the need for projects that will support conservation, climate change adaptation and resiliency and disaster risk reduction.