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Nation

Conserve water, public told

Catherine Talavera, Paolo Romero - The Philippine Star
Conserve water, public told
“This is to ensure that sufficient water is available for municipal irrigation and hydropower uses in the subsequent months, particularly during the summer season,” the NWRB said in a statement issued yesterday.
Noel Celis / AFP

MANILA, Philippines — The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) is urging the public to conserve and use water wisely as Angat Dam’s water elevation was below the normal high level at the end of 2021.

“This is to ensure that sufficient water is available for municipal irrigation and hydropower uses in the subsequent months, particularly during the summer season,” the NWRB said in a statement issued yesterday.

It said that as of midnight of Dec. 31, Angat’s water level was at 202.80 meters, or 9.20 meters below the normal high level of 212 meters.

“There was a slight increase in the water level with the rain brought by the northeast monsoon, but not enough to fill the dam near its ideal yearend elevation,” the NWRB said.

It cited forecasts from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, which said the occurrence of La Niña phenomenon would persist until March.

“Rainfall could be enhanced by the northeast monsoon from January to February, which could provide more precipitation,” the NWRB said.

It said this could bring near-normal rainfall over the Angat watershed area in the first semester of this year.

With the current status of the Angat Dam and the forecast rainfall in the watershed, the dam may reach its minimum operating level of 180 meters by the middle of April.

The agency said there is a need to manage the releases from the dam as a precaution for any change in the projections.

Meanwhile, Sen. Grace Poe urged the government to take steps to avert a possible water shortage.

Poe said a water shortage in the midst of a pandemic is unthinkable, especially when handwashing is essential to avoid catching the virus.

ANGAT DAM

NATIONAL WATER RESOURCES BOARD

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