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Dam levels expected to drop further as El Niño coincides with dry season




MANILA, March 9 ------ State weather bureau PAGASA urged the public to be cautious in using water, with its supply in dams expected to decrease further as the country enters the dry season. Latest data show 24-hour decline in dams range between 0.03 to as high as 0.50 meters.  

  

Hydrologist Elmer Caringal of the PAGASA Flood Forecasting and Warning Section said these figures are expected to increase with continuous water usage and the lack of significant rainfall. “El Niño, dry season pa so walang inaasahang pag-ulan within the watershed ng mga dams natin, so asahan natin na continuous yung pagbaba niya,” he said. “Kung dire-diretso ang ganitong scenario na wala ngang pag-ulan within the watershed at kung meron man maliliit lang na value, thunderstorm pero hindi sapat doon sa sinu-supply ng mga dams natin sa mga concessionaire, bababa talaga [ang water level].” he added. 

  

The rule curve or empty space maintained in major dams have also slid to negative levels. This figure has been set by dam management and is considered as the level needed for a dam to comfortably provide water for irrigation, power generation, and supply. So far, only the Angat Dam remains to be above the rule curve. But even if water supply remains stable in Metro Manila, PAGASA emphasized the need to consume water wisely especially during the drier and warmer months where many are expected to flock public pools and resorts to cool down. “Tutal dry season or summer so medyo marami ‘yung tao sa beach so du’n na lang siguro. ‘Pag sa swimming pool, lagyan na lang ng maraming chlorine para hindi recycle nang recycle,” Caringal said.   

  

However, despite constant reminders, some businesses that rely heavily on water admit it is easier said than done. “Hindi posibleng magtipid ng tubig sa laundry kasi ‘yung mga nagpapalaba lalo na kung marami. Baka mag-shut down na lang kami kung halimbawa walang tubig. Kailangan po talaga sa ganitong machine may tubig. Eh kung wala paano makakapag-operate?” said laundry shop employee Amelia Bastasa.  

  

But Bastasa said that while seems impossible for a laundry shop to conserve water, she practices water austerity measures at home. But water shortage or not, experts have emphasized that the benefits of the wise consumption of water not only prolongs supply but is also a good way to trim utility bills. 

  

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