Angat Dam water level still below normal
The allocation of raw water from Angat Dam to Metro Manila and the provinces of Rizal and Cavite would remain below normal as the supply failed to reach the usual year-end target level for the first time since 2010 despite an uptrend due to recent typhoons.
“Allocation for MWSS (Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System) remains at 40 cubic meters per second,” said Sevillo David Jr., National Water Resources Board (NWRB) executive director.
David was referring to the supply of raw water from the dam which would be processed into potable water by Maynilad Water Services Inc. and Manila Water Co. Inc.
Although the normal allocation for the MWSS is 46 cms, it has not been in effect since April after a supply crisis hit the east zone concession of Manila Water in March.
The NWRB hopes that every year-end, the water level at Angat Dam will be at least 212 meters above sea level, a target that has always been reached in the past eight years.
Thanks to recent typhoons like “Tisoy” and “Ursula,” it has been rising daily this month although as of Dec. 28, it was pegged at only 200.96 masl—still short of the goal by over 11 meters.
According to David, the improvement in the dam’s water level prompted the NWRB to raise the allocation for irrigation to 10 cms next month from 5 cms this month.
He said the supply for irrigation was doubled as part of efforts to help prepare farmlands for the dry cropping season.
“If the water level continues rising, we can hope for a slight improvement [in allocation] in January or February. But our priority is to manage the supply so that we will not have a repeat of what happened in March,” David added.
Back then, thousands of faucets in households in the east zone went dry for days as Manila Water saw the water level at La Mesa Dam fall below critical level.
According to David, the last time the water stock at Angat Dam did not reach 212 masl at year-end was in 2010 due to a severe El Niño. Before that, the same thing happened in 1998.
Data from the NWRB showed that in 2010, the dam water level was only 203.3 masl. Just like now, the water allocation to the MWSS then was below normal, leading to rotational service interruptions.
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