Water level at the Angat Dam has continued to decline, with only 29 millimeters of rain flowing into the reservoir in October, according to the PAGASA Hydro-Meteorological Division.
The division recorded Angat Dam’s water level to be at 185.41 meters as of 6 a.m. on Saturday, from 186.65 meters on Friday.
Ana Liza Solis, PAGASA Climate Monitoring and Prediction Section chief, said in a Super Radyo dzBB interview, beamed nationwide, that only 29 millimeters of rain came in from October 1 to 25, which is just 10 percent of the forecast 300 millimeters of rain for the month.
The level of water in other dams have also decreased, she said.
Meanwhile, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. has enumerated short- and long-term solutions that would help address the water shortage in Metro Manila.
In a Palace press conference, Esperon acknowledged the likelihood of a water crisis in the country’s metropolis when water concessionaires fail to develop other sources of water.
“Until that time that we won’t be able to develop other resources, then we have the possibility of water shortages every now and then,” he said.
“So, there are short-range programs, there are long-term programs,” he added.
The statement followed the announcement of Maynilad and Manila Water on Tuesday of rotational water service interruptions beginning that day, given the continued drop in Angat and Ipo dams’ water level.
Maynilad and Manila Water also warned that the water rationing might last until next year.
Water levels at Angat and Ipo dams, which are at 185.86 meters and 100.37 meters, respectively as of Thursday, continue to decline due to below normal rainfall in these areas.
Esperon noted that the two concessionaires could not rely on Angat Dam since it also supplies water to parts of Bulacan and Pampanga provinces.
He, however, said that other sources can be tapped to raise the water level in Angat Dam, citing the action made by the Ramos administration.
“Umiray River sa (in) Quezon Province, Aurora simply goes to the Pacific Ocean. So what did the Ramos Administration do then (was to) tap that water and put it to Angat (Dam),” Esperon said.
“Now, if we are able to get more into Angat and develop, protect more the forest cover there, then we will get more water,” he added.
Esperon also noted that concessionaires can source water from Laguna Lake.
He disclosed a plan to get “100 million liters a day” from Laguna Lake, but it has yet to materialize.
“The most immediate that we could get from would be of course from Laguna Lake, but it turns out that Laguna Lake costs so much more to purify because of the character and quality of water that is there. It’s no longer as pure, as good as we want it,” Esperon said.
“So, part of the solution would be also to make Laguna Lake clean. How do you do that? Probably dredge it,” he added.
Esperon noted that in the previous Cabinet meeting, there were discussions to also dredge the Pasig River “for a better outlet,” and look at other sources, such as the Wawa Dam in Rodriguez, Rizal and the proposed Kaliwa Dam in Infanta, Quezon.
Amid the implementation of the rotational water interruption, state regulator Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System on Thursday reminded consumers to be responsible in using water.