NWRB to cut water allocation as Angat Dam breaches critical level

By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

The Angat Dam, which is Metro Manila’s main supply of water, has breached its 160-meter critical level for domestic water supply on Saturday morning, prompting the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) to further reduce allocation sourced from the reservoir to 36 cubic meters per second (cms) from 40 cms.

A part of Angat Dam is seen at Norzagaray, Bulacan. The dam hit its critical level due to lack of water supply. (JANSEN ROMERO / MANILA BULLETIN)
A part of Angat Dam is seen at Norzagaray, Bulacan. (JANSEN ROMERO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Based on the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration’s (PAGASA) monitoring as of 6 a.m. Saturday, the water level at Angat Dam has further declined, hitting past its critical mark for domestic supply at 159.78 meters.

NWRB Executive Director Sevillo David Jr. said they are now implementing additional cut in the water allocation for Metro Manila’s domestic water requirements, which is being sourced from Angat Dam.

From the previous 40 cms, water allocation is now down to 36 cms which translates to a deficiency of 345 million liters per day.

Earlier, Manila Water pointed out that the 4 cms additional reduction in water allocation is already equivalent to the consumption of almost 700,000 consumers per day.

The current water allocation “will continue until rains will pour into the Angat watershed that could result in increase of the level of the dam,” David said.

“We will closely monitor the level of the dam as well as the (PAGASA) climate projections to determine possible adjustments for July,” he added.

PAGASA has officially declared the start of rainy season in the country last June 14 but sufficient rain remains elusive in watershed areas.

READ MORE: Pagasa officially declares rainy season

The whole country, except Caraga and Davao regions, will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers due to localized thunderstorms this weekend, the weather bureau said.

While rainfall activity remains low over Luzon and Visayas, some parts of Mindanao are experiencing rain showers and thunderstorms due to the extension or trough of a low pressure area (LPA).

According to PAGASA weather specialist Meno Mendoza, the advancing clouds of the LPA will bring cloudy skies with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms over Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur and Davao Occidental.

The LPA, which was estimated about 1,220 kilometers east of Mindanao around 2 a.m. Saturday, is still outside the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR).

Mendoza said the LPA will likely enter the PAR on Sunday, but may not make landfall over any part of the country.
Should it become a tropical depression inside the country’s area of responsibility, the weather disturbance will be given a local name “Dodong.”

PAGASA warned that rains, especially during severe thunderstorms, could trigger possible flash floods or landslides over low-lying and mountainous areas in the entire archipelago.

It has not issued a gale warning, thus, fisherfolk and seafarers are safe to sail.

Slight to moderate seas will prevail throughout the country.