August seen to usher in PH dam recovery – Pagasa
MANILA, Philippines — The state weather bureau announced on Tuesday that the Philippines could expect an increase in dam water levels, thanks to the“recovery period” kicking off in August.
“Ngayong panahon na ito — from August hanggang September — ay recovery period ng dams natin ‘yan, especially Angat Dam,” Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) hydrologist Richard Orenain told INQUIRER.net in a phone interview.
(From August to September is the recovery period of our dams, especially Angat Dam.)
“Base sa datos namin, nags-start ang recovery ng Angat mid-July. Nakita naman natin na nagkaroon ng (weather) system noong July 15 at malakas ang ulan sa watershed kaya tumaas ang tubig sa Angat Dam. Hopefully, tuloy-tuloy ang pagtaas dahil may inaasahan pa rin tayong mga bagyo,” Orendain added.
(Based on our data, the recovery of Angat started in mid-July. We saw that there was a (weather) system on July 15, and the rain was heavy in the watershed, so the water in Angat Dam rose. Hopefully, the increase will continue because we expect tropical cyclones.)
Asked to define the “recovery period”, Orendain said it is a phase during which a “gradual rise” in the elevation of water levels in dams from various weather systems fills them up.
The state weather bureau reported the initial rise of Angat Dam’s water elevation on July 14. This increase was attributed to the rain caused by the combined effects of Tropical Depression Dodong and the southwest monsoon, locally called “habagat.”
According to Orendain, Pagasa’s monitoring data as of 6 a.m. showed that Angat’s water elevation is already “above operating level” at 180.67 meters.
“[Pero] mahirap din mag kampante sa ngayon dahil baka later on dahil wala naring pag-ulan sa watershed so bababa nanaman siya. Kapag wala nang ulan sa watershed [maaaring bumaba pa rin ang tubig]. Pero sa ngayon kasi may inaasahan pa rin tayong pag-ulan hanggang sa weekend at may nakikita tayong paparating na bagyo within this week,” said Orendain.
(But it’s also hard to be complacent right now because maybe later on, there won’t be as much rain in the watershed so the water level will decrease again. The water may still decline when there’s no more rain in the watershed. But right now, we are still expecting rain because we see the possibility of cyclone development this week.)
Meanwhile, apart from Angat, Pagasa’s data for the water elevation of other dams are as follows: Ipo (160.65 meters); La Mesa (79.23 meters); Ambuklao (741.62 meters); Binga (568.42 meters); San Roque (238.52 meters); Pantabangan (181.14 meters); Magat (164.64 meters); and Caliraya (2887.15 meters).
Only Angat, Binga, San Roque, and Pantabangan Dams recorded an increase in their water elevation, said Orendain.