Rains fail to raise water level at Angat Dam
CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan, Philippines — Despite the rains since Sunday, the water elevation in Angat Dam, which supplies more than 90 percent of the water needs of Metro Manila, has remained at a critical level, according to dam operators.
On Tuesday, the elevation dropped to 169.88 meters above sea level (masl), and was far below the normal high level of 210-214 masl.
On Sunday, the elevation was at 170.45 masl, down from the 172 masl a week ago.
Officials manning the now privatized Angat hydroelectric power plant said it would take a strong typhoon to raise the dam elevation. The lowest water elevation in the dam was at 157.57 masl recorded on July 13, 2010.
Angat Dam’s elevation is critically low when it is at 160.00 masl.
The water level in Bustos Dam, which catches water released by Angat Dam for irrigation, was at 14.50 masl on Tuesday, down from its spilling level of 17.50 masl.
The dam is also a source of water for Metro Manila and for irrigation of more than 25,000 hectares of rice farms in 17 towns in Bulacan province and four towns in Pampanga province.
The National Irrigation Administration stopped the release of irrigation water to these farms on May 16 to give priority to the water needs of Metro Manila. —Carmel Reyes-Estrope
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