Angat water level fast going down, PAGASA warns

The weather bureau said Sunday that the Angat Dam, which supplies 97 percent of Metro Manila’s water, may hit its critical level by end of April.

Angat water level fast going down, PAGASA warns
File photo of  Angat’s dry spillway highlighted the amount of water lost due to El Niño in April 2010. Angelica Carballo 
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Danilo Flores, a hydrologist at the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, said the water level at Angat Dam in Bulacan is projected to go down to its lowest level as the El Niño phenomenon is likely to stay until August.

“We have been estimating how fast the water level [at Angat Dam] is going down until end of April. It [elevation] is expected to reach its critical level,” he said.

As of Sunday, the water level at the dam dipped to 195.91 meters from its normal high water level of 212 meters.

Because of El Niño, 61 percent of the country, including Metro Manila, is expected to experience drought, while 39 percent of the country is forecast to experience a dry spell.

The phenomenon will bring about a “severe meteorological impact” at the end of April in many parts of the country.

On March 22, the weather bureau declared the start of the dry season.

According to its Hydro-Meteorological Division, the water level at Ipo Dam also in Bulacan was 101.1 meters against its normal high water level of 101 meters; La Mesa Dam was at 68.60 meters against 80.15 meters; Benguet’s Ambuklao Dam was 749.15 meters against its normal high of 752 meters; Benguet’s Binga Dam was at 571.77 meters against the normal 575 meters, Pangasinan’s San Roque Dam was at 261.70 meters against its normal 280 meters; Nueva Ecija’s Pantabangan Dam’ was at 201.23 meters against its normal 221 meters, Isabela’s Magat Dam was 164.84 meters against its normal of 190 meters and Laguna’s Caliraya Dam was at 286.09 meters.

The National Irrigation Administration, meanwhile, said irrigation water supply to rice lands in Bulacan and some parts of Pampanga will last until May 15.

Eliseo Bitangcol, press relations officer of NIA-Central Luzon, said for the current dry cropping season, NIA started releasing irrigation water to its service areas in Bulacan and Pampanga on Jan. 9 and its cut-off is scheduled on May 15.

“No problem with irrigation water supply until rice crops are harvested based on the water allocation provided by the National Water Resources Board,” Bitangcol added.

The main source of Metro Manila’s potable water is the Angat Dam, which is also the main source for irrigation water for rice lands in Bulacan and some parts of Pampanga.

Angat Dam is operated under the supervision of K Water and San Miguel Corp.

Before the dam was acquired by the Korean company and San Miguel, its first priority was water for Metro Manila households, its second priority was for power generation for the National Power Corp., and its third priority was for irrigation of Bulacan farmlands and parts of Pampanga.

If the water level at the dam reached the critical 180-meter level, irrigation supply was automatically cut off.

Also over the weekend, Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel called for an investigation of why a 30-year-old law, Republic Act 6715, which requires the installation of rainwater collectors in all barangays has not been carried out. With PNA

READ: Rody orders release of water from Angat

Topics: Angat Dam , Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration ,
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