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Nation

‘Stop Angat Dam water release’

Bella Cariaso - The Philippine Star
�Stop Angat Dam water release�
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.
Photo by Michael Varcas, The Philippine STAR

MANILA, Philippines — Citing the need for ”extra reserves” for El Niño, water release from Angat Dam should be stopped, according to the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS).

MWSS division manager Patrick Dizon said the spill gates of the reservoir should be opened only if the water level reached its maximum elevation of 214 meters.

The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) released water from the dam on Thursday after the elevation reached its normal high of 212 meters.

The water level in Angat Dam as of 11 a.m. yesterday was at 212.78 meters, or 0.78 meters higher than its normal high water elevation of 212 meters.

“It is still high, but we sent a letter yesterday to the NWRB recommending to maintain Angat’s water level at 214 meters so that we will have extra reserves for El Niño next year,” Dizon said.

Water release from the dam continued yesterday at 61.5 cubic meters per second.

The Bulacan provincial government advised residents of low-lying areas and near riverbanks to be on alert for flooding.

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.”

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

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has warned the public that a stronger El Niño is likely to continue until the second quarter of 2024.

“El Niño increases the likelihood of below-normal rainfall conditions, which could bring negative impacts such as dry spells and droughts in some areas of the country, which will likely be manifested during the last quarter of the year and the first quarter of next year,” PAGASA said in its latest advisory. ”This may adversely affect the different climate-sensitive sectors such as the water resources, agriculture, energy, health, public safety and other key sectors of the country.”

Farmers’ groups expressed hope that water releases from the dam would not affect the allocation for irrigation for the next dry cropping season.

Francisco Clara, chief of the water control and coordinating unit of Bustos Dam, said sufficient irrigation allocation from Angat Dam is assured if the water level remains at its normal high of 212 meters by the end of the year. — Ramon Efren Lazaro

vuukle comment

ANGAT

EL NIñO

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