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NWRB may again have to limit water allocation

Romina Cabrera - The Philippine Star
NWRB may again have to limit water allocation
The NWRB head said it’s only through strict conservation of water that the country can really deal with the El Nino.
Noel Celis / AFP

MANILA, Philippines — With a dry spell looming, the National Water Resource Board (NWRB) may have to reduce water supply from the Angat Dam after the end of the two-week extension of the current 52 cubic meters per second (cms) water allocation by the end of the month.

NWRB chief Sevillo David said keeping the current allocation for water concessionaires might lead to the depletion of supply from Angat Dam, considering that rainfall in the past weeks had not been enough to significantly raise the dam’s water level.

He said another extension of the current water allocation would be dependent on the advisory of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) regarding El Niño.

“Based on our projections, Angat Dam is unlikely to recover enough before the end of the year or during El Niño. This is what we’re preparing for,” David said in an interview on radio dzMM.

“If our projections stay, then we have to manage our releases. It’s not good to maintain the 52 cms allocation and let supply run out. We have to prepare,” he added.

The NWRB head said it’s only through strict conservation of water that the country can really deal with the El Nino.

“While it’s still early, it’s best that we keep enough water in our dams – particularly by managing releases. We really need to conserve water supply in our reservoir, especially Angat Dam,” David explained.

The 52 cms allocation was supposed to be lowered to 50 cms starting June 16, but it was extended following a request from the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS).

He noted that the granting of the extension is still based on conditions that the MWSS and water concessionaires should be proactive in their water recovery initiatives, such as repairing leaking pipes and improving their mobile water treatment facility.

“The conditions for the MWSS to fix systems loss remain. PAGASA is almost very sure that El Niño will come,” Sevilla said.

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