Cloud seeding fails; rains seen to fill Angat Dam
CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan, Philippines — Operators of Angat Dam in Bulacan province are hoping the rainy season will succeed where a month of cloud seeding operations has so far failed, in replenishing the main source of potable water in Metro Manila.
An average of two cloud seeding flights a day around the Sierra Madre range generated moderate to heavy rains in May, but the series of downpour hardly increased the water level at Angat Dam reservoir, said Mary Joy David, project development officer of the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM).
On June 15, water elevation at the reservoir was measured at 163.07 meters above sea level, just 3 meters above the dam’s critical low level of 160 masl.
Water distributors in the metro have started to regulate the volume of water piped to households to preserve the rapidly decreasing supply.
The BSWM would send three cloud seeding flights whenever experts spotted clouds near the area, David said. Each flight carried 25 sacks of iodized salt, each weighing 25 kilos, that were hurled into the clouds to trigger a chemical reaction that would lead to rain, she said.
No luck so far. It may take at least three typhoons to get back the reservoir’s normal water elevation of 214 masl, the Inquirer learned. —Carmela Reyes-Estrope
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