Dam officials stop allocating irrigation water when Angat Dam’s elevation is below 180 meters.
Ernie Peñaredondo/File
Angat’s low water level threatens rice farmers
Ramon Efren Lazaro (The Philippine Star) - November 14, 2019 - 12:00am

MALOLOS, Philippines — The continuous drop in the water level in Angat Dam threatens not only water supply in Metro Manila but also irrigation of rice fields in Bulacan and Pampanga.

Felix Robles, head of the water control and coordinating unit of Bustos Dam, told The STAR yesterday that only rice planted during the wet season are assured of irrigation, adding that the allocation is good only for this month.

Robles said the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) has yet to decide whether to provide water for irrigation in the next cropping season.

Bustos Dam provides irrigation to 12,000 hectares of rice fields in Bulacan and 9,000 hectares in Pampanga. The bulk of water supply comes from Angat Dam.

Dam officials stop allocating irrigation water when Angat Dam’s elevation is below 180 meters.

Water in Angat Dam was below its normal operating level of 212 meters in the past weeks.

Monitoring by the Bulacan provincial disaster risk reduction and management office showed that the water level in the dam was at 188.45 meters at 8 a.m. yesterday.

Meanwhile, the water level in Bustos Dam was slightly up yesterday at 17.41 meters. The spilling level is 17.34 meters.

NWRB executive director Sevillo David Jr. said water supply for Metro Manila residents remains their priority.

David said Angat Dam has cut water supply for irrigation this month at 17 cubic meters per second compared to 30 cms last month.

Concessionaires Maynilad Water Services Inc. and Manila Water Co. Inc. started re-implementing rotational water service interruptions in Metro Manila and nearby provinces as water levels in Angat and Ipo Dams remain low.

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