NWRB warns Angat Dam could reach critical level by May 2018
MANILA — The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) might reduce the release of water from Metro Manila’s main source, Angat Dam, as an expert said the water reserve could dip to near-critical level by late May.
NWRB is not discounting the possible reduction during the dry season’s peak to help ensure the availability of Angat water until after the expected onset of the rainy season,” said engineer Bea Soriano of NWRB’s Policy and Program Division.
The NWRB is the agency tasked to allocate water for optimal use, ensuring access to safe water supply and sanitation services, as well as preserving water flow for ecological integrity.
For 2018, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) forecast the dry season’s peak to start in late March and last until late May.
PAGASA hydrologist Richard Orendain expects rain-fed Angat Dam’s water level to almost hit the 180 meters critical level by May 31, 2018.
The water level, Orendain explained, could reach 180.11 meters if there is only 125 millimeters of rain in the Angat watershed during the 100-day period ending May 31 this year and the dam receives 8 centimeters of Umiray Dam water while releasing at a total water allocation of 70 cms.
Zero rain and increasing water release will cause Angat’s water to dip more, he noted.
The government has suspended the release of Angat water for irrigation to ensure Metro Manila’s supply if water level in the dam reaches 180 meters, making this elevation critical to operations.
PAGASA forecaster Lori dela Cruz said the termination of the northeast monsoon or ‘amihan’ this year might occur around late February or early March.
PAGASA data showed Angat Dam’s water level has been already dipping even ahead of summer, hitting 209.29 meters at 6 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24.
Angat’s water level was 0.32 meters higher 24 hours earlier at 209.61 meters, PAGASA noted.
Orendain reminded consumers to conserve water particularly since the dry season’s peak is approaching.
“We must use water wisely,” he said.
Checking for leaks, using water-saving devices and mulching plants are among ways people can help conserve water in their houses, he added. (PNA)