THE week-long monsoon rains last week have been for naught in increasing the water level of Angat Dam as water levels have now dipped lower than the critical level at 159.93 meters.
The dam’s critical level is at 160 meters which means that this is lower compared to the 160.30 meters recorded on Wednesday, July 10.
The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) reduced the amount of water allocated to Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) from 46 cubic meters per second (cms) to 36 cms since May and will continue to do so as water level in the dam is likely to dip further in the coming days.
The bulk of Metro Manila’s daily requirement, or 90 percent, comes from Angat Dam. The Department of Agriculture said that the domestic purpose of Angat Dam’s water would surely compete with the dam’s water if it does not reach full capacity.
Angat Dam reached its lowest level of 157.76 meters in July 2010, an El Niño year, which prompted authorities to temporarily stop operations.
While the current level may be a welcome development, it is still below the normal level of 180 meters.
The farmers who planted this current cropping season would also need to look for other sources of water, as supply for water irrigation would only be resumed when the 180-meter level is reached.
Angat Dam not only supplies Metro Manila, it also supplies irrigation to 20,000 hectares of farmland in Bulacan, 2,000 hectares of Pampanga’s farmlands in Candaba, and border lands of San Luis and Santa Ana.