by Marje Pelayo | Posted on Wednesday, June 12th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – As of 6:00 a.m. Wednesday (June 12) water level in Angat Dam hit 164.48 meters, still lower than its minimum operating level of 180 meters.
According to the state weather bureau, PAGASA, this is nearing the lowest level recorded in July 2014 when the water level dipped to 162.74 meters.
“Meron kaming na-observe na malalakas na rainfall sa may bandang Zambales, minsan sa bandang Bicol, Cavite, Laguna which is malayo naman sa watershed ng Angat Dam,” PAGASA Hydrologist Elmer Caringal said.
(We have observed heavy rainfall in areas near Zambales, occasionally in Bicol, Cavite, and Laguna which are far from Angat Dam watershed.)
According to the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) Executive Director Sevillo David Jr., Angat Dam will not provide for irrigation this month of June per protocol of the agency which prioritizes the water requirement for Metro Manila.
“Sa protocol (kapag) below 180 meters (ay) priority ang water supply for evaluation ng Board if magre-release for irrigation,” David said.
At present, Angat Dam’s allocation for Metro Manila stays at 46 cubic meters per second.
The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) noted, meanwhile, that farmers in Bulacan and Pampanga are expected to begin cropping season in August when they will be needing water from Angat Dam.
Still, the agency expects cropping to be ahead of schedule with the coming rainy season.
The lowest water level in Angat Dam was recorded in July 2010 when water reserve dipped further to 157.56 meters. (with reports from Rey Pelayo)
by Marje Pelayo | Posted on Thursday, May 30th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – Metro Manila and its neighboring provinces have been experiencing heavy downpour in recent days.
Still, it didn’t help to increase water level in Angat Dam, the main source of domestic water supply in Metro Manila.
Angat’s water level was at 169.79 meters on Wednesday (May 29).
But as of 6:00 a.m. on Thursday (May 30), its water reserve dropped further to 169.63 meters which is 10 meters short of the required minimum operating level of 180 meters.
According to the state weather bureau PAGASA, the said measurement is the lowest level for the month of May as compared with records in the past 10 years.
The cause, PAGASA said, is mainly due to the effects of persistent El Niño phenomenon.
In July 2010, Angat’s water level hit the lowest mark at 157.56 meters, according to PAGASA Weather Specialist Richard Orendain.
Meanwhile, National Water Resources Board Executive Director Sevillo David said they will reduce water allocation in Metro Manila to 46 cubic meters per second (cms) in June from the current 48 cms.
He added that irrigation may also suffer a bit unless Angat Dam’s water level rise up back to its minimum operating level of 180 meters.
“Sa ngayon po baka ma delay if hindi maka recover ng maayos ang level ng dam above 180 meters, (There might be delays if the dam’s level will not recover to above 180 meters),” David said.
Similar condition is observed at La Mesa Dam where water level remains low and still unable to supply for Metro Manila’s consumption.
“Ang tubig sa La Mesa Dam hindi parin natin mapapakinabangan sa ngayon dahil hindi pa siya nakakarating sa lebel ng 69 (meters) and above, (Water level in La Mesa Dam cannot yet supply unless it reaches the level of 69 meters and above,)” Orendain explained.
According to the Bureau of Soil and Water Management (BSWM), they are still holding cloud seeding operations in specific areas which has so far yielded positive results.
Magat Dam, on the other hand, is set to release water for irrigation on June 3, according to the BSWM. – (with details from Rey Pelayo)
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Thursday, May 30th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – The public is advised to pack their umbrellas and rain gears, and to brace for the onset of the rainy season which may be declared next week, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said on Wednesday.
Pagasa deputy administrator Flaviana Hilario said in a press briefing at Malacañang that the start of the rainy season may possibly be declared on the first or second week of June.
She explained there are two criteria that must be met for the wet season to be officially declared: the amount of rainfall recorded in the western side of the country has to be at least 25 millimeters over a five-day period, and this should be associated with the “habagat” or southwest monsoon.
“Based on our rainfall forecast, the onset of the rainy season for areas under Type 1 Climate, these are areas along the western side of the country and this is associated with the Habagat or Southwest Monsoon, it is expected to be during the first half of June,” Hilario said.
She added that five to eight tropical cyclones are expected to hit the country from June to August.
“And in terms of our forecast on the number of tropical cyclones, from June to August, we are expecting around 5 to 8 tropical cyclones,” she said.
Pagasa forecasts that the rainfall condition in June will be generally near normal in many parts of the country except Apayao, most parts of the Ilocos region, Cagayan, Tarlac and Zambales, which would experience below normal conditions.
In July, rainfall condition will be below normal in most of parts of Mindanao and southern Visayas.
By August, Hilario said generally near to above normal rainfall conditions will be experienced in most areas of the country.
Pagasa also said that the probability of experiencing El Niño until the end of this year remains high.
“There is still a chance that (El Niño) will continue until the end of this year, 2019. However, the uncertainty is quite high,” Hilario said.
Meanwhile, the National Economic and Development Authority reported that the country’s growth slowed down a bit in the first quarter of 2019 due to the effects of El Niño.
NEDA Undersecretary Adoracion Navarro said the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) went down by 0.21 percentage points because of the drought that affected several provinces.
However, Navarro assured the government is implementing measures to address El Niño’s effects to the agriculture sector.
“With respect to El Nino, we are implementing interventions, we are finding sources for those which are not funded by agencies regular budget,” Navarro said.
The agency also remains positive that the country will still achieve its six to seven percent economic growth target for the year 2019. (with details from Rosalie Coz)
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