October 18, 2019
AS the water level of Angat Dam continues to decline, the allocation for irrigation may again be reduced, the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) said on Thursday.
NWRB Executive Director Sevillo David Jr. said the technical working group (TWG) on Angat Dam operations would recommend lowering allocation for irrigation to 17 cubic meters per second (m3/s) from 30 m3/s for November.
But water releases for the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) will be maintained at 40 m3/s, below the normal allocation of 46 m3/s.
“The recommended allocation will be finalized with the board next week,” David said, adding that the group would take into consideration the current level and rainfall projections for the entire year to come up with a proposal.
In September this year, the NWRB increased allocations for Metro Manila to 40 m3/s from 36 m3/s. Water supply for irrigation, which was previously suspended in May, was reinstated to 30 m3/s.
The NWRB functions as the chairman of the TWG, with the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration; MWSS; National Irrigation Administration; and National Power Corp. as members. Meanwhile, the AHC Angat Hydropower Corp., Manila Water Co. Inc. and Maynilad Water Services Inc. act as observers.
Angat Dam is the primary source of water in Metro Manila and adjacent provinces. It supplies about 90 percent of raw water requirements for the metropolis and irrigates about 28,000 hectares of farmland in the provinces of Bulacan and Pampanga.
As of 6 a.m. on Thursday, Angat’s water level was at 187.49 meters, 7.89 meters above the minimum operating level of 180 meters.
But this is 24.5 meters below the year-end target level of 212 meters for the dam to supply water and irrigation requirements until summer.
The water allocation from Angat Dam is shared by Maynilad (60 percent) and Manila Water (40 percent).
On Wednesday, Maynilad urged its customers to stock up on water as the company may implement rotational water interruption services anew.
“Madalang ang pag-ulan sa Angat at Ipo Watersheds, kayat unti-unting bumababa ang tubig sa Angat at Ipo Dams (Rain had been scarce at Angat and Ipo Dams, their water levels had declined),” Maynilad said in a statement.
Maynilad services the west zone, which includes the cities of Navotas, Muntinlupa, Manila, Malabon, Makati, Las Piñas, Caloocan, Parañaque, Pasay, Quezon and Valenzuela, as well as Bulacan and the cities of Bacoor, Cavite, Kawit, Noveleta and Rosario, all in Cavite.
On Thursday, Manila Water said it might also implement rotational water service interruptions in the coming days.
“Upang mapagkasya hanggang sa susunod na tag-araw ang limitado pa ring supply ng tubig, maaari pong kailanganin naming magsagawa ng karagdagang operational adjustments (We may have to make some operational adjustments in the coming days to maximize the still limited supply),” the company said.
“Kung kakailanganin po naming magpatupad muli ng rotational water service interruption sa mga darating na araw, magbibigay po kami ng abiso para makapaghanda ang aming mga customers (If we need to implement rotational water service interruptions again in the coming days, we will send notices to our customers),” it added.
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