Angat Dam water may hit lowest level on record this week – NWRB

Robie de Guzman   •   June 26, 2019   •   905

Image of Angat Dam taken on June 21, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The water elevation in Angat Dam will likely reach the lowest level on record this weekend in the absence of significant rainfall in the watershed, the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) said on Tuesday (June 25).

In July 2010, Angat Dam recorded the lowest water level in history at 157.57 meters.

NWRB executive director Dr. Servillo David Jr. said that as of 6 a.m. Tuesday, the water level at Angat Dam was at 158.77 meters down from Monday’s 159.09 meters.

The onset of the rainy season in the country has already been declared by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), but the NWRB said recent rains have not reached the Angat Dam watershed.

“If the situation continues na walang significant rainfall that will come in the next couple of days, based on our projection, we will breach that record by the weekend,” Servillo said.

If Angat Dam’s water level breaches the 150-meter mark, the NWRB said the water allocation for Metro Manila may further be reduced.

Last Saturday (June 22), the NWRB already reduced the water allocation for Metro Manila from 40 cubic meters per second (cms) to 36 cms.

This prompted water concessionaires to implement longer rotational service disruptions in the metropolis and nearby areas.

Angat Dam’s declining water level has also compelled the NWRB to temporarily close down Angat Hydropower plant, which resulted in a drop in Luzon grid power supply by 200 megawatts.

This is said to be one of the reasons why the Luzon grid has been consecutively placed under yellow alert status in the past few days. (with details from Joan Nano)

DILG tells LGUs to hasten processing of permits for water projects

Robie de Guzman   •   January 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday urged all local government units to hasten the processing of necessary permits for water-related projects in order “to expedite their completion and enhance water security.”

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said this is to help avert the possible water crisis that may hit parts of the country this year.

“Malaking perhuwisyo para sa ating mga kababayan kapag kulang o walang tubig. Kaya inaatasan ko ang ating mga LGUs na paspasan ang pagpoproseso ng mga kinakailangang permit para sa mga water projects upang maiwasan ang kakulangan sa tubig,”Año said in a statement.

In Memorandum Circular No. 2019-207, the DILG chief also called on local government officials to make the necessary preparations and extend support to start the water-related projects in their areas such as human resources, access roads to location, and availability of materials.

Section 17 of the Local Government Code mandates LGUs to exercise appropriate powers and discharge functions for the efficient and effective provision of basic services and facilities.

“Sa mga panahong ito na marami sa ating mga kababayan ang nakakaranas na ng kakulangan sa tubig, kailangan na nating magtulungan at mabilis na aksyunan na ng mga LGUs ang mga water permits para masimulan at matapos na ang mga water projects sa kanilang lugar,”he said.

In March last year, thousands of residents in Metro Manila experienced water crisis due to the drop in water levels at Angat Dam which supplies water to Metro Manila and Central Luzon areas.

Water levels in Angat Dam even reached the critical level of 160 meters despite the onset of the rainy season last year which prompted the further reduction of water allocation.

Angat Dam water levels have since improved due to rains brought about by recent typhoons entering the country but is still below the target normal operating level of 212 meters.

As of 6 a.m. January 2, Angat Dam’s water level is at 202.60 meters.

Kung hindi tayo kikilos ngayon, lalala pa ang problema natin sa tubig at tayo lang din ang mahihirapan sa bandang huli,” Año said.

Likewise, he encouraged the public to conserve water and to take measures in their respective communities to effectively manage water consumption.

“Magsilbing paalala sa atin lahat na hindi lamang nakasalalay sa gobyerno ang seguridad ng supply ng tubig. Responsibilidad ng bawat isa sa atin ang magtipid sa paggamit ng tubig,” he said.

Angat dam water level goes up but still below target – NWRB

Robie de Guzman   •   December 17, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The water level at the Angat dam continues to go up, according to the monitoring of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

As of 6 a.m. Tuesday (December 17), the Angat dam’s water level is at 197.22 meters, which is higher than the 196.67 meters recorded on Monday.

PAGASA said this is due to the rainfall brought about by the recent Typhoon Tisoy (international name: Kammuri) and the effects of the northeast monsoon (Amihan).

The state weather bureau said water levels at the Angat dam usually improve at this time of the year based on historical data.

Despite this, the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) advised the public to still conserve and use water wisely.

NWRB executive director Servillo David Jr. said this is because the target normal operating level of 212 meters for Angat Dam has yet to be reached.

Angat Dam supplies water to Metro Manila and Central Luzon areas.

“Nag-i-improve siya pero ang sabi nga namin ‘yung improvement niya hindi natin masasabing okay na tayo para maging business as usual tayo sa paggamit natin ng tubig. We’re not out of the woods yet,” David said.

“Sabi nga natin, mas mababa siya kumpara sa mga nagdaang taon,” he added.

David warned that water consumers may again experience supply shortage in the next dry season if the normal operating level at Angat dam will not be hit by the end of the year.

“Kapag hindi po kasi siya naka-recover dun sa target natin na 212 meters, then magkakaroon ng impact ito sa water supply natin particularly for the Metro Manila residents at kasama na rin yung sa irrigation which is around 27,000 hectares sa Bulacan at Pampanga,” he said.

“Baka magpapatuloy po, most likely ay magpapatuloy ang kabawasan sa suplay natin sa tubig,” he added.

Parts of Metro Manila and nearby areas are still experiencing rotational water interruption due to insufficient supply.

According to PAGASA, the water level at Angat dam may only reach 200 meters even if the northeast monsoon prevails until February next year.

The state weather bureau has not monitored any weather disturbance that may develop into a tropical cyclone outside the Philippine area of responsibility. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

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Maynilad, Manila Water rate to spike in 2020

Maris Federez   •   December 6, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Manila Water and Maynilad Water Services will affect a rate hike in January 2020.

This is at the height of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s directive to review the contract between the government and the two water concessionaires. 

Maynilad and Manila Water will implement around P3.00 per cubic meter price hike.

Add to this is the increase in the Foreign Currency Differential Adjustment (FCDA) and other foreign currencies that the two water concessionaires use in their loan payment.

In 2018, the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) has approved Maynilad and Manila Water’s rate increase petition.

For Maynilad, the approved rate hike is P5.73 which will be applied on a staggered basis for five years or until 2022.

Manila Water, on the other hand, had been allowed a rate increase of P6.22 to P6.50.

Meanwhile, with the expected rate hike, water service interruption will still be experienced by Maynilad and Manila Water consumers as the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) has yet to increase Metro Manila’s water allocation despite the rising water level in Angat Dam.

As of Friday morning, the water level in Angat Dam was at 195.03 meters.

This, however, is still far from the dam’s normal operating level of 210 to 212 meters.

Authorities advise the public to continue to conserve water to maintain sufficient water supply in Angat Dam until the next dry season. (from the report of Harlene Delgado) /mbmf

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