Angat water for Metro Manila cut further; reduction till June 30
CITY OF MALOLOS—The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) has again reduced the water allocation of Metro Manila from Angat Dam as the regulator expected the level at the reservoir to hit the critical mark of 160 meters above sea level.
As of 6 a.m. on Friday, the dam’s water level was at 160.28 masl, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).
It dropped further by 0.45 meters from 160.73 masl from Thursday, way below the minimum operating water level of 180 masl.
More than 90 percent of Metro Manila’s water needs come from Angat Dam.
On Monday, June 17, the NWRB urged Metro Manila consumers to save water as the reserve level was expected to breach the critical mark.
NWRB officials said the dam’s dropping water elevation was forcing them to implement new rotational water service interruptions in the National Capital Region.
Patrick James Dizon, division manager of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, said the allocation for Metro Manila consumers would be reduced to 3.1 billion liters per day starting today until June 30.
“Based on historical level, [the elevation] in Angat Dam usually plummets during summer from April to June. It is expected to get replenished between July and August,” Dizon told the Inquirer.
Lack of rainfall
He said the lack of rainfall due to a weak El Niño was causing the dam’s water level to continuously drop.
The reserve level was 161.20 masl on Monday and was going down by about 0.4 meter daily, Pagasa said.
Officials manning the now privatized Angat Hydroelectric Power Plant said it would take a strong typhoon to raise the dam’s water elevation.
The lowest water elevation at the dam was at 157.57 masl recorded on July 13, 2010.
The dam is also a source of water for irrigation of more than 25,000 hectares of rice farms in 17 towns in Bulacan province and four towns in Pampanga province. —CARMELA REYES-ESTROPE
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