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Angat Dam water level continues to fall

MANILA, Philippines, April 8 ------ Water elevation in Angat Dam has decreased by .76 meter in just two days as it reached 196.82 meters, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration.

PAGASA’s hydrometeorology division said that on Saturday, Angat’s water level dropped by .40 meter after it reached 197.18 from its previous level of 197.58. Yesterday, the water level again dropped by .36 meter, making it 15.18 below the dam’s normal high level of 212 meters. Although the water level keeps declining, it remains above the dam’s minimum operating level of 180 meters.

Patrick Dizon, department manager of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), said the average daily drop in the water level in Angat was expected to range between .30 and .40 meters. “We do not expect it to increase further based on historical records,” Dizon told The STAR over the weekend. He said based on forecast, Angat Dam could reach its minimum operating level of 180 meters by June. “If there will be no rains, probably it will reach below (180 meters by) last week of June. But based on the forecast of PAGASA, we can experience rains by May… so we are positive that the reservoir elevation will not reach 180,” Dizon said.

PAGASA hydrologist Sonia Serrano said that in 2023, water elevation in Angat dipped to as low as 179.02 meters. “We expect it to go down below the 180-meter mark (this year),” Serrano said as she urged the public to continue conserving water to preserve the water level in Angat. “We need water for Metro Manila, but since we do not expect rains, we need to conserve water,” Serrano added. Angat Dam supplies more than 90 percent of Metro Manila’s potable water needs and provides the irrigation requirement of 25,000 hectares of farmlands in Bulacan and Pampanga.

Dizon confirmed that the MWSS decreased the water pressure for the National Capital Region (NCR) amid the continued decline in Angat’s water level. He said the water pressure for domestic use was reduced to three pounds per square inch from the previous seven psi. Maynilad corporate communications chief Jennifer Rufo assured consumers that they would not feel the decrease in the water pressure. Dizon said the decrease in the water pressure was one of the strategies being implemented by the MWSS to preserve Angat’s elevation. He said the National Water Resources Board maintained the 50-cubic-meter allocation for Maynilad and Manila Water. Angat’s technical working group will meet to discuss the allocation for Metro Manila for the month of May, Dizon said. He assured the public that there was no plan to implement water rationing amid the drop in the water level in Angat Dam. He admitted that if Angat’s elevation would decrease significantly this month, the reduction in water allocation for the NCR is inevitable. The call for water conservation measures covers residential areas as well as commercial and industrial establishments, Dizon said. 

Earlier, Environment Undersecretary Carlos David warned of possible water rationing if residents particularly in Metro Manila would not conserve water amid the El Niño phenomenon and the dry of season.



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