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Nation

Angat water level breaches normal high

Ramon Efren Lazaro, Bella Cariaso - The Philippine Star
Angat water level breaches normal high
Photo taken July 6, 2023 shows Angat Dam, where the water elevation has receded to below the minimum operating level of 180 meter on July 8, 2023. It was was monitored at 177.99 meters as of 5 p.m. on July 14, 2023.
STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — Water was released from Angat Dam yesterday after its elevation breached the normal high of 212 meters.

As of 6 a.m. yesterday, the water level in the dam was monitored at 212.6 meters, or 0.74 meters higher compared to its previous level of 211.86 meters.

The Bulacan provincial government advised residents of low-lying areas and near riverbanks to be on alert after the spill gates were opened at 11 a.m.

An advisory issued by the National Power Corp.-Angat Dam office said the water release aimed to ”maintain the safe level due to the expected inflow of rainwater to the reservoir.”

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said the shear line, easterlies and northeast monsoon have spawned heavy rainfall in many parts of the country in the past week.

Josephine Salazar, National Irrigation Administration-Central Luzon head, said Ipo Dam, where water from Angat flows, was releasing 66 cubic meters per second before noon yesterday.

Salazar said Bustos Dam can accommodate the water release since its water level is still 2.6 meters below its spilling mark of 15 meters.

“Angat reservoir breached its normal high water level of 212 meters, which is advantageous to all stakeholders of Angat Dam,” Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) division manager Patrick Dizon said in a message to The STAR.

Dizon said this means the MWSS can store enough water in the reservoir before the anticipated full impact of the El Niño phenomenon.

He said augmentation measures of the MWSS and water concessionaires continue.

Dizon cited the Poblacion Water Treatment Plant for Maynilad and East Bay for Manila Water as well as modular water treatment plants from the rivers of Cavite and Marikina City.

Angat Dam supplies more than 90 percent of Metro Manila’s potable water needs. It also supplies the irrigation needs of 25,000 hectares of rice fields in Bulacan and parts of Pampanga.

Bulacan farmers expressed hope that the water release will not compromise the water allocation for irrigation.

Liza Sacdalan, Central Luzon Organic Rice Producers Association president, said the operator of Rubber Gate No. 5 of Bustos Dam has given assurance that irrigation supply may start at the latest during the first week of January.

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