House recommends using Laguna Lake as permanent source of domestic water

Maris Federez   •   August 28, 2019   •   1046

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

NWRB reduces water allocation for Metro Manila as Angat Dam water level drops

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 11, 2020

The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) has reduced water allocation for Metro Manila due to the continuous drop in Angat Dam’s water level.

“Continuous iyong decline ng level ng Angat Dam, and iyong mga rainfall na supposedly padating o inaasahang dumating nung July and August ay hindi na-realized based sa projection ng PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration) so halos wala pa atang kalahati,” said NWRB Executive Director Sevillo David Jr.

From the previous 48 cubic meter per second (cms), allocation will be reduced to 46 cms. David assured that this is still enough to address demand.

As of September 11 at 6:00 a.m., water level in Angat Dam was at 178.01 meters. Its minimum operating level is at 180 meters

Based on the September 11 update of PAGASA, the water level in Angat Dam went down to 178.01 meters, which is almost two meters below its minimum operating level of 180 meters. AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

NWRB appeals to public to conserve water as Angat Dam level goes below normal

Marje Pelayo   •   September 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) appeals to the public to conserve water as Angat Dam’s water level goes down the minimum operating level. 

As of Thursday (September 10), Angat’s level is at around 178.35 meters which is lower than its minimum operating level of 180 meters.

“We appeal to the public to conserve water and use water responsibly to help in our efforts to manage the level of the Dam and avoid or slow down the lowering,” Sevillo David Jr. said, Executive Director of NWRB. 

The official said the September allocation for the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) remains at 46 cms, while the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) gets 30 cms.

“Considering that we are at the middle part of the wet cropping season in Bulacan and Pampanga and the need for steady supply of water for Metro Manila as preventive measure against COVID, allocation for September is currently maintained even if it is below the 180 minimum operating level,” David said.

The NWRB is collaborating with other government agencies such as MWSS, NIA, the National Power Corporation (NPC) and the state weather bureau PAGASA in closely monitoring the situation in Angat and the impacts to water supply for Metro Manila and irrigation.

The agency hopes that Angat’s water level will improve in the coming months.

“We are guided by the near normal to above normal rainfall projections of Pagasa for the rest of the year and probable occurrence of a La Nina Episode by the last quarter of the year,” David said.

“We expect the dam level to improve with the projected rainfall this month until the end of the year,” he said.

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)

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