'Conserve water, save Angat Dam'

The National Water Resources Board on Saturday urged the 12 million water consumers of Angat Dam to conserve at least four liters or one gallon of water a day as the dam’s water supply was expected to hit below operating level this weekend.

'Conserve water, save Angat Dam'
WATER UPDATE. Dr. Sevillio David, executive director of the National Water Resources Board, informs the public that the water supply for Metro Manila ‘will be sustainably managed’ amid the weak El Niño phenomenon being experienced in the country in a press conference in Quezon City on Friday. He also said the water elevation of Angat Dam was at 180.73 meters, nearing the minimum operating water level of 180 meters, as of 6 a.m. Saturday. Angat’s lowest water elevation this year will reach 173.13 meters by the end of May, David added. Manny Palmero
“We start with one gallon,” NWRB executive director Sevillo David said in an interview on Super Radyo dzBB, heard nationwide.

The NWRB is the leading government agency for the water sector in the Philippines, regarding water resources and potable water; it is conferred with policy-making, regulatory and quasi-judicial functions within the government. 

David said that if all the Angat Dam water consumers—by his count 12 million people—conserved four liters a day, the savings would be equivalent to 48 million liters daily.

The NWRB reported on Friday that Angat’s water level was at the 180.73-meter mark. 

Given the rate of decline in the last two months, it would hit below 180 meters this weekend, and by end-May it is projected to hit the 170-meter level.

Angat Dam supplies 96 percent of Metro Manila’s tap water needs.

Apart from conservation, David said the government should also adjust allocation, activate deep wells, and conduct cloud seeding operations as contingency measures to keep the water supply in check amid the effects of the weak El Niño which may last until the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Angat Dam will retain its irrigation water allocation of 10 cubic meters per second (cms) in May, even if its dipping water level breaches the minimum operating level (MOL) of 180 meters before that month.

This is to ensure the availability of irrigation water for rice farms in Angat’s service areas in Bulacan and Pampanga provinces that have not yet harvested their crops, NWRB engineer Bea Soriano said Friday.

“Those plants still need water before harvest time,” Soriano said.

Despite the irrigation allocation, Angat Dam’s water quota for Metro Manila in May will still be 48 cms, the same as in April, she said.

Soriano made the assurance as hydrologists of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration expect Angat Dam’s water level to dip below the MOL this weekend.

Angat’s 6 a.m. water level on Friday already dipped to 180.73 meters, 6.2 meters lower than the desired 186.93 meters for the day, PAGASA hydrologist Jason Bausa said, noting that the dam’s water level has been dipping this week by an average 0.50 meters. 

“We expect Angat’s water level to breach the MOL by Sunday,” he said.

Soriano said Angat Dam’s irrigation water allocation this April is 35 cms.

The NWRB reduced the allocation for May as projected demand for irrigation water would be lesser, she added. With PNA

READ: Angat Dam near critical level 

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

Topics: National Water Resources Board , Angat Dam , Sevillo David , El Niño phenomenon
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