House recommends using Laguna Lake as permanent source of domestic water

Maris Federez   •   August 28, 2019   •   913

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

Fishkill in Laguna Lake not caused by a virus — BFAR

Marje Pelayo   •   June 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Region 4A has reported that around 800 metric tons of fish died in Laguna Lake last week in the areas of Pililia and Binangonan, Rizal.

Region 4A Director Sammy Malvas clarified that the fish kill was due to the lowering of dissolved oxygen in the water and not because of any virus outbreak as some reports said.

“Kalimitan ang cause nyan ay iyong pabago-bagong weather condition natin. Halimbawa ay mainit sa araw tapos bandang hapon ay biglang bubuhos ang malakas na ulan, nagko-cause iyon ng pagbaba ng lebel ng dissolved oxygen, (Usually, the cause is the changing weather conditions. For example, the sun is up in the morning then in the afternoon, we have thunderstorms, that causes reduction in level of dissolved oxygen),” Malvas explained.

One of the viruses that can infect tilapya is the so-called ‘tilapia lake virus’ (TLV), a case of which was recorded three years ago in Bulacan.

There has been no recurrence of such incident so far according to Malvas, as they also conduct strict laboratory testing of fish seed samples before transporting them to other places.

“Nag-i-issue kasi tayo ng health certificate para doon sa transboundary movement ng mga buhay na semilya (We issue health certificates for transboundary movement of live fish seedlings),” Malvas said. 

The supply of tilapia at the Balintawak Market comes from Pampanga and Batangas and there has been no price increase. 

BFAR  assured that fish supplies in the market are safe to eat provided they are thoroughly cooked. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Typhoon Ambo adds 3 meters to Angat Dam’s reserve

Marje Pelayo   •   May 17, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The water level in Angat Dam has improved in the aftermath of Typhoon Ambo in Luzon.

According to the latest reading by the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the weather system has added 3.09 meters of water to Angat Dam’s reserve from 187.53 meters on May 15 to 190.62 meters on 6:00 am, Sunday (May 17).

Angat’s water level is now 10 meters over its normal operating level of 180 meters.

Last week, the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) has increased domestic allocation to Metro Manila from Angat Dam to 48 cubic meters per second from 46 cubic meters per second to maintain enough supply on the duration of the government-imposed community quarantine in view of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis. –MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

NWRB increases water allocation for Metro Manila

Marje Pelayo   •   May 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) will increase the allocation of Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) from 46 cubic meters per second (CMS) to 48 CMS starting Thursday (May 14) until the end of May.

The additional 2 CMS raw water allocation from Angat Dam is a special requirement to sustain the steady supply of water during the coronavirus disease (COVID 19) pandemic.

Likewise, the NWRB said it is to address the high demand of consumers in Metro Manila and adjacent provinces of Bulacan, Rizal and Cavite amid the relatively high heat index this month of May.

“NWRB reiterates to our people to continue their practice of responsible use and conservation of water to further secure our needs in the succeeding months and for the Angat Dam to recover to a more comfortable level by the end of the year,” appealed NWRB Executive Director Sevillo David Jr. MNP (with inputs from Rey Pelayo)

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