The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) said latest elevation in Angat was at 187.49 meters as of Thursday, lower than the 191 meters recorded at the end of September.
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NWRB tightens water allocation
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - October 18, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The water level in Angat Dam – Metro Manila’s water source – is declining anew, prompting the government to reduce allocation for irrigation use and focus on domestic consumption.

The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) said latest elevation in Angat was at 187.49 meters as of Thursday, lower than the 191 meters recorded at the end of September.

The current elevation, however, is still above the minimum operating level of 180 meters.

Considering the recent decline of the water level in Angat Dam, the Angat Technical Working Group has recommended to maintain the allocation for November of 40 cubic meters per second for the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System.

The 40 CMS was just returned last month from the 36 CMS allocated before. This, however, is still below the normal allocation of 46 to 48 CMS.

Allocation for irrigation, on the other hand, will be reduced to 17 CMS from the 30 CMS set in September.

NWRB argued that the main harvest season is already at the tail end, which means that water requirement is lower than the average.

“In the cropping calendar, you need more water at the initial part of he cropping season to irrigate farm lands but once the palay has already been soaked and is close to harvesting, lesser water will be needed,” NWRB executive director Sevillo David said in a phone interview with The STAR.

“The water requirement is no longer that large compared with the last two months. This will help in the management of supply in the dam,” he said.

West zone concessionaire Maynilad Water Services Inc. already warned of up to 18-hour daily rotational service interruptions because of the declining level in Angat and Ipo dams.

“Ipo has a small watershed, although relatively smaller, where they get additional water but because of no rainfall in the past weeks, Maynilad solely relies on the Angat Dam,” David said.

The NWRB maintained lesser allocation is needed to preserve the dam’s water elevation so it could reach the target level of 212 meters by the end of the year.

“Based on our historical data, we would normally reach 212 meters. But we also have to be prepared in case we do not reach that level that’s why we are not increasing allocations, “ David said.

NATIONAL WATER RESOURCES BOARD
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