Poe: Gov’t must prepare for likely water shortage as Angat Dam’s level drops
MANILA, Philippines — The government must be ready for a possible water shortage amid the reported decline in Angat Dam’s water level, Senator Grace Poe said Monday.
Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public services, said water supply shortage amid the pandemic is “unthinkable” especially when handwashing is one of the ways to avoid contracting the new coronavirus.
“The government must be prepared to address the possibility of a trickling water shortage following reports of a slight dip in the water level in Angat Dam,” the senator said in a statement.
“The government regulator and private concessionaires should nip the problem in the bud before it becomes a crisis. Households and industries should step up as equal partners in conservation and efficient use,” she added.
The two major water concessionaires in the country—Manila Water Co., Inc. and Maynilad Water Services, Inc.—which just secured another 25-year franchise this year should provide better water services to the public, Poe stressed.
“We need to closely monitor the implementation of our national water programs and projects, as well as initiatives to tap other water sources to ensure stability of supply. We should not always depend on heavenly mercies of better rainfall or tropical depression bringing in rains,” she said.
“Water shortage should not be a way of life. We expect reforms in water governance and infrastructure the way the Filipinos deserve this basic utility as an essential human right,” she also said.
According to the website of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, Angat Dam’s water level was at 202.80 meters as of January 1, missing by 10 meters its 212 meters year-end target.
The Angat Dam in Norzagaray, Bulacan, is Metro Manila’s main source of water.
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