Angat Dam (File photo)

MANILA – While it assures there will be no water supply cut in Metro Manila, the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) on Monday urged again the public to conserve water as the Angat Dam’s water level is now at 190.75 meters.

NWRB Director Sevillo David Jr. said the current water level in Angat Dam is 10 meters lower than the previous years.

“Bago pa nga ho pumasok iyong taon at bago magsimula itong January po ay nag-abiso na po tayo sa mga kababayan po natin na magtipid kasi nga po medyo mababa po sa inaasahan natin ang level po ng Angat Dam (Before the year begun and before the January started, we already reminded the public to start conserving water because the water level in Angat dam is lower than the expected level),” he said in an interview at the Laging Handa public briefing.

David said they are projecting that the supply of 190 meters can be at least stretched until May before it will go down to 180 meters, which is the minimum operating level of the dam.

“Sa ganoong punto po ay mabibigyan po natin ng priority ang supply ng tubig po para sa mga Metro Manila areas (At that point, we can prioritize the water supply for those residing in Metro Manila areas),” he said.

He said the farmers in Bulacan and Pampanga are nearing their harvesting schedules. Thus, prioritize urban areas for water supply once the Angat Dam will meet its minimum operating level.

For the month of April, the Angat Dam saves at least five cubic meters from 15 cubic meters per second since the supply for irrigation is being reduced during harvest time

Meanwhile, he said the water supply in Metro Manila will remain at 48 cubic meters per second with the ongoing threat of the Covid-19 pandemic and because of the hot weather.

Kaya po minabuti po ng NWRB na i-maintain po iyong kasalukuyang alokasyon at wala pong pagbabawas na mangyayari po (That’s why the NWRB decided to maintain its current water allocation and there will be no cut to happen),” David said.

On the other hand, David said the cloud seeding operations seem to be getting positive results as the water level in Angat Dam slightly increased.

The NWRB continues the cloud seeding along with the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) and Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

“Umaasa po tayo na sa mga susunod na araw ay parehas po ang magiging resulta, at sa tingin po naman natin ay malaki ang naitutulong po nitong cloud seeding operations para po mapanatili sa mas magandang level po ang kasalukuyang level po ng Angat Dam (We are hoping for same results in the coming days and I think this cloud seeding operations is helping the Angat Dam to maintain its current water level),” David said.

As its short-term solution for possible water supply shortages, NWRB allows MWSS and other concessionaires to prepare deep wells.

The treatment facilities in Laguna Lake and Marikina river are also on standby.

Major projects are also slated as their medium and long-term solutions.

David said the government, through the National Economic and Development Authority, has already launched the Philippine Water Supply and Sanitation Master Plan, not only making enough water supplies but also seeking good sanitation.

The NWRB is also crafting a water security roadmap to make sure there is enough supply not only in Metro Manila but also nationwide. (PNA)