House recommends using Laguna Lake as permanent source of domestic water

Maris Federez   •   August 28, 2019   •   657

Laguna de Bay is the largest lake in the Philippines located between the provinces of Laguna and Rizal. (Photoville International/Rogz Necesito Jr.)

Despite the rising water level in Angat Dam, the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) has expressed concern about the possibility of another water crisis next year.

The NWRB said that if Angat Dam fails to reach its normal operating level, Metro Manila might experience another shortage come dry season.

Because of this, Congressman Ruffy Biazon, during the House Committee on Metro Manila Development hearing on Wednesday (August 28), recommended the use of Laguna Lake as a permanent source of domestic water.

This aims to address the shortage of water supply in Metro Manila and its neighboring cities and provinces in case the water level in Angat Dam recedes anew.

“Kasi iilan lang yung nakikinabang doon eh. Pinagkakakitaan yung Laguna Lake hindi para sa paggamit ng ordinaryong mamayan kung hindi sa paggamit ng mga interes ng kumpanya,” Biazon said.

The Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) agreed that this can be done, although they admit that they do not have the funding to conduct dredging in the lake.

They also cited the expense that will be incurred in treating and eliminating the saltwater from Manila Bay that gets combined to the water in the lake.

Add to this is the fast-increasing formation of algae which affects the quality of the water.

“Ang Laguna Lake kaya niyang i-supply ang requirement for domestic water supply as source of domestic water. Ang problema lang is more on the water quality,” said Engr. Emiterio Hernandez of the LLDA.

To date, Maynilad and Manila Water get a small percentage of water supply from Laguna Lake for their customers in Metro Manila, Laguna, Rizal, Cavite, and Bulacan.

Meanwhile, water levels in several dams are continuously increasing due to the rains being experienced in the country.

As of 8:00 a.m. Wednesday, the water level in Angat Dam has reached 181.74 meters.

Ipo Dam water level, on the other hand, has gone up to 11.82 meters; while that of La Mesa Dam went up to 77.18. (from the report of Joan Nano) /mbmf

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

‘Tisoy’ exits PH, leaves more water in Angat Dam

Marje Pelayo   •   December 5, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Typhoon Kammuri local name ‘Tisoy’ exited the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) on Thursday at 8:00 AM, according to state weather service PAGASA.

Based on PAGASA’s latest update, ‘Tisoy’ was located at 580 km south of Iba, Zambales.

Though the weather disturbance no longer impacts any part of the country, scattered rains and thunderstorms will still be experienced in Cagayan Valley, Cordillera Administrative Region,and the province of Aurora due to the effects of the tail end of a cold front.

Meanwhile the Northeast Monsoon will bring light rains over Ilocos Region and the rest of Central Luzon.

Metro Manila and the rest of the country, meanwhile, will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers due to localized thunderstorms.

According to PAGASA, Typhoon Tisoy somehow improved the water level in Angat Dam.  

As of 6:00 AM today, Angat’s level marked 1.05 meter-increase to 194.52 meters from Tuesday’s 193.47 meters.

Prior to that, Angat Dam gained more than 4 meters during the onslaught of the typhoon. – MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

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