Metro water allocation to increase on Sept. 1 as Angat dam level improves – NWRB
Robie de Guzman • August 26, 2019 • 557
MANILA, Philippines – The allocation for Metro Manila water concessionaires will slightly increase next month as rains brought about by recent weather disturbances continue to boost the water level at Angat dam, the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) said Monday.
NWRB director Servillo David Jr. said the water of Angat dam is already above the minimum operating level of 180 meters and is expected to rise further based on the rainfall projections of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Service Administration (PAGASA).
“With the current level of Angat which is already above 180 meters and expected to rise further with incoming weather disturbances and Pagasa projections of near-normal rainfall for September, there will be an adjustment in allocation for water supply and irrigation starting September 1,” he said in a message sent to reporters.
David said the current water supply allocation of 36 cubic meters per second (cms) will be increased to 40 cms for the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS). Allocation for irrigation will also go up next month.
“For water supply from 36 cms to 40 cms. There will be allocation for irrigation also up to 30 cms,” he said.
The reduced water allocation resulted in rotational service interruption in Metro Manila and nearby provinces in the previous month.
PAGASA earlier said it may take until September before Angat dam level returns to normal.
PAGASA Hydrologist Shiela Schneider said the projection was based on dam monitoring in previous years.
“Kasi nandito na tayo sa tag-ulan, may mga bagyo at may mag inexpect pa tayo na bagyong dadating so inaasahan, based from the historical naman natin na mga data, nakikita natin during these months talaga tumataas ang elevation ng Angat dam” she said.
Aside from Angat dam, water level at other dams in the country, including La Mesa, Ambuklao and Ipo, were also reported to have improved. (RRD with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)
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
MANILA, Philippines – State weather service PAGASA has declared the end of weak El Niño which has started in the last quarter of 2018.
This means that the temperature in the Pacific Ocean has returned to normal and will remain so until the end of 2019.
During the past three to five months, areas of Oriental Mindoro and Sultan Kudarat experienced less rainfall.
But this August, PAGASA expects normal rainfall level in areas of Calabarzon, MIMAROPA, Bicol Region, Metro Manila, most parts of Eastern Visayas, and the provinces of Nueva Viscaya, Quirino, Bataan, Aurora, Agusan Del Norte, and Surigao Del Norte.
The El Niño has incurred P7.963-B worth of damage in agriculture across the country, according to data from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) in JUNE 27, 2019.
This is apart from other problems such as the water crisis that hit Metro Manila when the level of water reserve in Angat Dam dipped below the minimum operating level of 180 meters.
For now, the dam’s supply is gradually recovering as it hit 177.12 meters at 6:00 a.m. today (August 16).
With this development, the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) may soon increase water allocation in Metro Manila to 40 cubic meters per second from the current 36 cubic meters per second, according to the agency’s Executive Director Sevillo David. – MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)
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