CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The water level in Angat Dam may soon move closer to critical level as recent thunderstorms failed to replenish the dam's water supply.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) here said that state weather bureau reported the water level at Angat fell to 172.66 meters, 0.19 meter below Sunday's 172.85 meters, which is near the halfway point between the critical level for irrigation at 180 meters, and the critical level for drinking water at 160 meters.

The dam's normal high level is 212 meters, while its critical level for drinking water is 160 meters.

Farmers in some 27,000 hectares of farmlands in Bulacan and Pampanga are serviced by the irrigation coming from Angat Dam but irrigation services has been cut as it would have to prioritize 14 million residents in Metro Manila who rely on the water supply coming from dam. The dam reached its critical level for irrigation last May.

The DA here said the planting for palay would definitely fall in the first week of July or even a bit later for Central Luzon adding that with the current water situation Metro Manila would have to be careful and converse the use of their water supply.

Pagasa said that it expects rains to come this mid June and July and may soon replenish the water levels needed by Angat Dam. But the recent thunderstorms have failed to set up indicators that it is already the rainy season.

The dry spell triggered by the current El Niño phenomenon had deprived the Bulacan watershed of water needed to replenish the dam's water holdings. PAGASA is optimistic that the lack of possible irrigation will not adversely affect Central Luzon farmers as the rainy season is just around the corner.

Also the water levels of Ipo, Binga: 570.84, San Roque and Magat dams, all major water supply repositories, fell as of Monday.