Angat Dam near critical level

The water level in Angat Dam in Bulacan, which supplies 97 percent of Metro Manila’s potable water, is nearing the critical level, officials said Friday.

The National Water Resources Board said the dam’s water level had dropped to 180.73 meters as of 6 a.m. Friday and board director Sevillo David Jr. said the elevation could go down to as low as 173 meters next month.

In other developments:

• Environmental advocates on Friday called for the mass resignation of the officials of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System for alleged negligence.

Danilo Mangahas of Earth Savers Philippines blamed MWSS Administrator Reynaldo Velasco and the other officials for their alleged failure to address the water crisis in the East Zone of Metro Manila and the nearby provinces.

“They should all resign,” Mangahas said.

He said the government should have compelled Manila Water Co. Inc. to develop a new water supply source.

• Public utility firms should be held accountable for their failure to render services they are expected to provide, according to broadcast journalist and independent senatorial candidate Jiggy Manicad.

 She said the rolling blackouts now being experienced in the areas serviced by Manila Electric Co. were a “sign of negligence”. 

She said Manila Water should also be held accountable for several water service interruptions in parts of Metro Manila last month.

“There is a need for the government to closely monitor Meralco and other public utilities,” Manicad said. 

“As we have seen in the previous weeks, the problems in these firms are piling up instead of winding down.”

• Some Manila Water customers complain of high water bills despite the water service interruptions. 

Some customers have complained about receiving high water bills, according to Bam Alegre’s report on Unang Balita on Friday.

From the previous P120, Lei Tatco said, their bill last month rose to P250―an increase of more than 100 percent.

“That’s the problem. Maybe we shouldn’t pay,” Tatco said.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said Angat Dam’s water level was expected to dip to 180 meters by Sunday.    

Edgar dela Cruz, the weather bureau’s hydrologist, said should Angat Dam’s elevation reach 180 meters, there would be less water allocation for irrigation.

But the NWRB said the reduction in the allocation for irrigation would only have a minimal impact on the farms in Pampanga and Bulacan since it was already the season for harvesting there.

The dam’s supply for irrigation has been reduced from 35 cubic meters per second to 10 cubic meters per second.    

The agency gave the assurance that even if the dam’s elevation plunges to 170 meters, its supply to the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System would remain normal.

David advised their seven million customers to continue conserving water since the effects of El Niño could last until the end of the year.

READ: Angat Dam water for irrigation to be reduced next month

READ: Angat reduces irrigation water to boost Metro supply—NWRB

Topics: Angat Dam , National Water Resources Board , Sevillo David Jr. , Danilo Mangahas , Earth Savers Philippines
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