Angat Dam’s low level won’t affect Bulacan farms

Angat Dam’s low level won’t affect Bulacan farms

By: - Correspondent / @inquirerdotnet
/ 04:30 AM May 28, 2024

Angat Dam’s low level won’t affect Bulacan farms

MORE WATER PLEASE Angat Dam in Norzagaray, Bulacan, shown in this photo taken in April, supplies the needs of irrigated rice fields in Bulacan and Pampanga and about 97 percent of Metro Manila’s water consumers. Its level on May 27 remains below normal despite rains dumped by Typhoon “Aghon” over the weekend. —photo courtesy of Norzagaray Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office

PLARIDEL, BULACAN, Philippines — The drop in the water level of Angat Dam and the plan to cut supply to rice fields by May 30 will not affect farmers in Bulacan and Pampanga provinces who depend on the reservoir for their irrigation needs, a leader of a farmers’ group said.

Despite Angat Dam’s current elevation of below 180 meters above sea level (masl), farmers would no longer require the water it supplies to their fields since many have harvested their rice crops from late April until early in the month, said Carlos Dimaapi, acting president of the more than 22,000 Angat Maasim River Irrigation System (Amris) farmers in Bulacan and Pampanga.


READ: Angat Dam water level at 178 meters, still below operating level of 180


The continuous release of water by the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) until May 30 will be enough to allow the remaining farmers to harvest good quality rice crops, he added in a phone interview on Friday.

The farmers began planting for the dry season in December last year and January this year in time for the May harvest period.

On Monday, because of the rains brought by Typhoon “Aghon” (international name: Ewiniar) over the weekend, the water level of Angat Dam reached 179.80 masl, slightly higher than its 178.86 masl on Sunday but still below its operating level of 180 masl and its spilling level of 212 masl.

Liza Sacdalan, president of the Central Luzon Organic Rice Producers Association Inc. and the Plaridel-Guiguinto Irrigators Association that is under Amris, also affirmed they have no objection to cutting the water supply to their farms.

“The cutoff is accepted because no one will need the supply. It is harvest season already until last week,” Sacdalan told the Inquirer in a text message on Sunday.


Sacdalan said that despite the dry spell brought on by the El Niño phenomenon, which started last December and was projected to end by this month, many of them were still able to plant and harvest good crops because of enough water supply from the dam.


Angat Dam supplies water to more than 27,000 hectares in the Bulacan towns of Norzagaray, San Rafael, Angat, Baliwag, Bustos, Plaridel, Calumpit, Pulilan, Hagonoy, Paombong, Bocaue, Bulakan, Pandi, Balagtas and Guiguinto and the City of Malolos; and the towns of San Simon, Apalit, San Luis and Candaba in Pampanga.

NIA, which manages the dam’s water supply to irrigated fields in the two provinces, has regularly released 40 to 32 cubic meters per second of water to the fields since January, which gradually decreased as the water level dropped.

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The water’s release for irrigation was to be halted to prioritize the needs of the National Capital Region. The dam is the source of 97 percent of the water requirement of Metro Manila.

TAGS: Angat Dam, El Niño, National Irrigation Administration

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