The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System has cautioned consumers to use water wisely and support efforts to ensure ample supply amid the onset of El Niño in the Philippines.
According to PAGASA, this year may be the warmest year in record because of El Niño, which is expected to impact on at least 22 provinces.
While there is enough water supply for its consumers, MWSS Administrator Reynaldo V. Velasco called on everyone to save water and help cushion water shortage as El Niño has varying impacts such as delayed onset of rainy season.
“Since we primarily source our water from Angat-Ipo-La Mesa water system, we have to do our share to help lessen the effect of El Niño not only on our need for water in our households and industries but also on agriculture,” Velasco said. As a rule, discharge for potable water supply becomes the priority during drought events, reducing water releases for agricultural irrigation and power generation.
Water from Angat passes through Ipo Dam where it is then released to La Mesa Dam. La Mesa Dam has a 47-cubic-meter-per-second (cms) allocation of water from Angat Dam, higher than the 44 cms the government normally earmarks for La Mesa Dam during the dry season.
The water level at La Mesa is recorded below normal level and has prompted calls for water conservation from concerned sectors to maintain water reserve availability. As of March 5, its reservoir water level is 69.47 meters, down from its normal high water level of 80. 15 meters. With the onset of the dry season, and the increasing demand from burgeoning population has contributed to the decline in water level. This does not mean, however, that a water shortage looms in the horizon for residents of Metro Manila and neighboring provinces unless there is disregard for water conservation until the rainy months set in.
Velasco said MWSS has its water security plan for 2018 to 2023 in place, with the goal of easing the strain on the Angat-Ipo-La-Mesa water system and ensuring water supply during El Niño.
This stop-gap measure consists of the A-B-C projects and Wawa Dam Project of the consortium of Enrique Razon and Oscar Violago, pending the completion of the Kaliwa Dam, Velasco said.