Duterte to gov’t agencies: Strictly enforce water conservation measures
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered all government agencies to strictly implement water conservation measures as the dry season nears.
— Darryl John Esguerra (@DJEsguerraINQ) March 19, 2020
In his Administrative Order No. 24, Duterte said that based on the projections of the National Water Resources Board (NWRB), the water level in Angat Dam will be below its normal high operating level of 210 meters from the months of January to March 2020 and below its minimum operating level of 180 meters from the months of April and May.
Considering the said projections, the President said that the NRWB has reduced the water allocations for the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) from its normal demand of 44 cubic meters per second to 40 cubic meters per second for January.
The government likewise reduced allocation for the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) to 20 cubic meters per second or 50 percent of the total allocation requirement of the NIA for the dry cropping season in agricultural areas served by the Angat Dam, such as the provinces of Bulacan and Pampanga.
In issuing the order, Duterte cited the “urgent need to implement water conservation measures to avert looming water crisis and in order to attain at least a 20 percent reduction on water consumption especially within the areas served by Angat Dam, including Metro Manila and parts of Cavite, Rizal, and Bulacan provinces.”
Last March 2019, the capital region suffered the worst water crisis in years, leaving families to wait hours to get their daily water supply from tanker trucks as the Angat Dam water level dipped.
Duterte asked government agencies, government-owned or -controlled corporations and state universities, especially those located within areas served by the Angat Dam, to urgently implement water conservation measures in coordination with El Niño Task Force and the NWRB.
The El Niño Task Force, meanwhile, is ordered to spearhead a massive information campaign on water conservation in traditional and social media platforms, schools, subdivisions and government offices.
All local government units, especially those served by Angat Dam, are also ordered to issue advisories and enact ordinances that will protect water supply within their respective jurisdictions.
The Department of Interior and Local Government will monitor the compliance of concerned LGUs with the Presidential directive.
Failure to comply will result in the filing of appropriate administrative charges.
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