Metro Manila water supply remains stable amid El Niño: DENR, NWRB

February 15, 2024, 2:10 pm

<p>Angat Dam<em> (File photo)</em></p>

Angat Dam (File photo)

MANILA – Water supply in Metro Manila remains stable as the country bears the brunt of the El Niño phenomenon, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) said in their report to Task Force El Niño (TFEN).

During the TFEN meeting on Feb. 12, DENR Undersecretary Carlos Primo C. David and NWRB Executive Director Atty. Ricky A. Azardon assured the task force that efforts are underway to comply with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s directive to ensure water security as the weather phenomenon impacts the country.

David and Azardon also reported to the task force chairperson, Defense Secretary Gilbert C. Teodoro, that private water concessionaires are working closely with the government to monitor water leaks and wastage in Metro Manila to immediately address any issue that may arise.

The water level of Angat Dam as of Feb. 14, 6 a.m. is at 208.61 meters, above the critical level of 180 meters.

“We are also continuously assessing and monitoring the current state of the Angat Dam, while considering the possible forecasted dry conditions in the succeeding months attributed to the El Niño phenomenon,” David reported to Teodoro.

“It is crucial for residents, businesses, and institutions to remain vigilant and actively participate in efforts to conserve water resources. Implementing water-saving practices such as rainwater harvesting, reducing consumption, fixing leaks promptly, and optimizing irrigation systems can significantly contribute to mitigating the impacts of the El Niño,” David said.

The DENR and NWRB also reported that they have begun disseminating information and education campaign materials on water conservation and recycling, allowing Task Force El Niño to actively engage the public in managing the effect of the weather phenomenon.

The officials also stressed that presidential instructions related to water security are in full swing, in compliance with President Marcos’ Executive Order No. 53 which directs the government to streamline, reactivate, and reconstitute the old El Niño task forces under EO No. 16 (s. 2001) and Memorandum Order No. 38 (s. 2019).

Under EO No. 53 signed on Jan. 19, 2024, President Marcos ordered the task force to develop a comprehensive disaster preparedness and rehabilitation plan for El Niño and La Niña to provide “systematic, holistic, and results-driven interventions” to help the public cope and minimize their devastating effects.

President Marcos designated Teodoro as the task force chairperson, while Science and Technology Secretary Renato U. Solidum was designated as co-chairperson.

The President also designated the following officials as task force members: Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga, Secretary of Agriculture Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr., Secretary of Health Teodoro J. Herbosa, and Secretary of National Economic and Development Authority Arsenio M. Balisacan. (PNA)