MWSS, NIA to get full allocation despite Angat water level drop

By Stephanie Sevillano

April 29, 2024, 6:54 pm

<p>Angat Dam <em>(PNA photo by Joan Bondoc)</em></p>

Angat Dam (PNA photo by Joan Bondoc)

MANILA – The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) and National Irrigation Administration (NIA) shall continue to receive a full allocation in May despite the continuous decline of Angat Dam's water level.

As of Sunday, the water level in Angat Dam dropped to 188.81 meters from Saturday's 189.17 meter level. Its minimum operating level is set at 180 meters.

During the inter-agency briefing on El Niño effects on Monday, Environment Undersecretary Carlos Primo David said the decision was made to ensure adequate water supply for the rice cropping season and increasing domestic demand.

"Ang ibibigay po nating allocation diyan ay full allocation para di masayang iyong ating cropping season (what we will give them is full allocation so that the cropping season will not go to waste), 24 cubic meters per second (CMS) for NIA," he said.

"For MWSS, we will be providing full allocation to MWSS, from May 1 to May 15, 50 CMS," he added, citing a two CMS hike than usual allocation compared to previous years.

David also mentioned the increasing consumption per person both in Metro Manila and the Bulacan area.

The MWSS gets 90 percent of its requirement from the Angat Dam to cover the demand for domestic consumption.

Prescribed conservation action

David, meanwhile, urged the public to apply the prescribed conservation action (PCA) alongside the government's conservation intervention amid Angat's dwindling water level.

"Kailangan lahat po tayo (We all need) to chip in, in conserving water... I-i-implement ito, itong May kahit na sapat pa ang supply ng tubig, kumbaga practice ito (This shall be implemented in May even though there's still enough supply of water, this is like a practice)," David said.

The PCA includes the prohibition of the use of garden hoses in watering plants, cleaning driveways, and washing cars, among others.

The government, likewise, implements a decrease in water pressure across Metro Manila every 10 p.m. until 4 a.m.

"While the supply is still enough, the decrease in water level in terms of its rate is quite alarming," he said.

On average, he said the water level in Angat Dam is decreasing from 0.4 meters to almost half a meter per day, considering the below-normal rainfall level.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration earlier advised that the country's drought conditions are expected to persist until June. (PNA)