By Ellalyn de Vera-Ruiz
The Climate Change Commission (CCC) has urged the public to conserve water throughout the dry season as the Angat Dam’s water level continues to dwindle on Tuesday.
The water level in Angat Dam was down to 192.95 meters on Tuesday from 193.15 meters last Monday. The reservoir is part of the Angat-Ipo-La Mesa water system that supplies about 90 percent of water requirements in Metro Manila and nearby areas.
CCC reiterated the implementation of Administrative Order No. 24 issued by the President, which mandates all government agencies, government-owned and controlled corporations, and state universities and colleges to strictly implement water conservation measures.
Last March 12, water allocation for domestic use sourced from Angat Dam was increased to 46 cubic meters per second or around 4,000 million liters per day to undertake preventive measures against the coronavirus disease.
Angat Dam’s water level has declined by almost 8 meters since then.
To prevent the potential further decrease of water supply allocation in Metro Manila and nearby regions, the CCC encouraged consumers to avoid unnecessary and excessive use of water, especially now that there is a greater household demand.
It warned that the inadequate and intermittent water supply in Metro Manila and in other parts of the country could have massive impacts on different sectors, especially in agriculture and health.
While the country is still grappling with a pandemic, the CCC said that everyone must be prudent and wise in consuming the limited water resources.
The CCC cited that water security is among the seven thematic priorities of the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP), emphasizing that access to safe water and proper sanitation are necessary to achieve climate resilience and sustainable development.
Among the measures that individuals could do to observe responsible water utilization and conservation in their homes include checking water pipelines and reporting leaks and illegal connections regularly; recycling water by using a basin while rinsing dishes, fruits, vegetables, and other food products and using the water to flush toilets; cutting down shower time by a minute or two; turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth and washing your hands; and installing rainwater catchment.
“The increasing demand for water is exceeding available supply. While individual contributions are vital, the government is pursuing long-term solutions to provide access to safe and reliable drinking water sources to people,” the CCC said.
“At the community level or in every city or municipality, importance must be given to programs on water safety and availability measures, strengthening water systems and capacities, and improving water, sanitation, and hygiene for all,” it added.