Maynilad’s System Loss, Dune and the Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Arrakis was said to be created by God for the Faithful or as it was written by Frank Herbert in Dune , ” God created Arrakis to train the faithful”.
Arrakis or Dune is a desert planet. The native inhabitants are called Fremen. In order to survive in Dune they have to wear stillsuits, These are described as …

It’s basically a micro-sandwich — a high-efficiency filter and heat-exchange system. The skin-contact layer’s porous. Perspiration passes through it, having cooled the body … near-normal evaporation process. The next two layers . . . include heat exchange filaments and salt precipitators. Salt’s reclaimed. Motions of the body, especially breathing and some osmotic action provide the pumping force. Reclaimed water circulates to catchpockets from which you draw it through this tube in the clip at your neck… Urine and feces are processed in the thigh pads. In the open desert, you wear this filter across your face, this tube in the nostrils with these plugs to ensure a tight fit. Breathe in through the mouth filter, out through the nose tube. With a Fremen suit in good working order, you won’t lose more than a thimbleful of moisture a day…

Water is said to define the water creature and the Desert defines the Desert creature. In Dune the scarcity of water defines the culture, It considered rude and even to waste water that to spit is taboo and too shed a tear is of great importance.

I wonder is there a still suit in the future for us?

A scan of the news regarding the loss of water inside Metro Manila is disturbing. Not because it might be due to environmental forces at work and they are. Not because water is the essential need of man in order live and it is. But what is depressing and disheartening is the amount of water wasted by the different government agencies.

The system is loss of Maynilad, predictably whose areas are the one experiencing the water shortage, is at a staggeting FIFTY THREE PERCENT (53 %). The other water utility company Manila Water suffers from a system loss of around THIRTEEN PERCENT,

This was reported by the Philippine Daily Inquirer – 53% of Maynilad water is lost; Manila Water, only 13% – and in the same article Maynilad was fast to state:

Maynilad said the public should not be hasty in criticizing the management of DMCI Holdings Inc. and Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), which took over the Maynilad concession only in 2006 (Source)

Still FIFTY THREE PERCENT is quiet a bog loss and a big waste of critical resources. Compound that with the other factors affecting water supply and it shows a flippant policy when it comes to managing the water resource of the Philippines.

According to the Water Environment Partnership in Asia (WEPA), the Philippines water resources (based on the Philippine Government’s data) can be described as:

Just over a third or 36 percent of the country’s river systems are classified as sources of public water supply:

Up to 58 percent of groundwater sampled is contaminated with coliform and needs treatment;

Approximately 31 percent of illness monitored for a five-year period were caused by water-borne sources; and

Many areas are experiencing a shortage of water supply during the dry season.


You can find the whole profile of the Philippines here.

Given these set of conditions, The utter farce of encouraging the public to conserve water while at the same time having a system loss of more than half is CRIMINAL.

Instead of down-playing and pointing fingers at each other as shareholders of this critical resource – water – something has to be done. All of us are shareholders.

Citizens should conserve.

Government should conserve.

Businesses should convserve.

Maynilad and Manila must conserve.

The problem here is when the rain comes all of this might be just shelved under the rug till next year. But the problem is it will be more compounded because: (i) the number of people will increase, (ii) the number of cities and buildings will increase and (iii) the number of businesses and factories will increase. In other words Population, Urbanization and Industrialization will be having an impact on our water resources. Meanwhile, Inaction of the different share holders will be fatal to the Philippines.

And that is why a 53 % percent system loss is unacceptable and criminal.

Will the Philippines a country rich in water will one day import water or worse will we resort to wearing still suits?

In this situation negligence (for lack of a better term for it) is similar to the action of the Ancient Mariner who killed an Albatross in Samuel Taylor Coleridge‘s poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.In the end will we all mutter:

Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink. – Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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3 Responses to Maynilad’s System Loss, Dune and the Rime of the Ancient Mariner

  1. arpee lazaro says:

    my theory is that maynilad is an excuse for the new government to build a dam. it’s corruption, plain and simple.

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  3. Juned says:

    @arpee, Interesting theory. For me it is an example of incompetence snowballing. :)

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