Save water as El Niño will peak in Q4 of 2015—PAGASA
Conserve water while the rains last, because El Niño is coming.
A day after declaring the onset of the rainy season, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) sounded the call for water conservation.
The weather bureau urged the public to conserve water and called on concerned agencies to prepare for a stronger resurgence of El Niño that will peak in the last quarter of the year and last until early next year.
“As we enter the rainy season of the year, this will be the best time to save water while the season is in progress,” PAGASA administrator Vicente Malano said in a statement.
“Climate outlook suggests the full impact of the El Niño is expected towards the last quarter of the year, bringing dry conditions in most areas of the country. All concerned agencies are advised to take precautionary measures against the negative impacts of El Niño,” he added.
Authorities said water conservation could be applied in daily activities such as bathing, tooth brushing and hand washing.
Laundry water can also be recycled to water plants, flush the toilet, wash the car and mop the floor.
PAGASA said the country may still expect normal to above normal rainfall from July to September, but the rains will cease as El Niño intensifies from October to November.
The water level in Angat Dam, which supplies most of Metro Manila’s water needs and irrigates farmlands in Bulacan and Pampanga, has been below the 210 meters above sea level, which is the normal operating level, and steadily falling since early June.
Since early June authorities have stopped drawing water for irrigation from Angat Dam since the dam’s level was below 180 masl.
As of Wednesday, it was at 172.04 masl.
Most dams are also below their normal operating levels but not yet in their critical level.
Many parts of the country have not yet recovered from drought or dry spell conditions due to reduced rainfall since late last year.
PAGASA confirmed last March that a weak El Niño has set in.
Despite the onset of the rainy season, PAGASA said 17 provinces would continue to suffer from drought or dry spell in July while 31 other affected provinces would get some respite from the rains.
“The ongoing El Niño is showing signs of strengthening,” PAGASA said, explaining sea surface temperature over the Pacific Ocean has shown “significant warning since April 2015 and expected to be at moderate level by end of June 2015.”
It said forecast models suggested that El Niño might last until the early months of 2016.
As a result, “below normal rainfall conditions (will) persist in many parts of the country,” PAGASA said.
El Niño has also caused the late onset of the rainy season in the western section of the country, which usually began mid-May to early June, the weather bureau said.
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