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Metro Manila, nearby provinces still safe from water woes

Metro Manila and adjacent provinces are “in a much better position” this summer in terms of water supply compared to last year when dry climate and the El Niño weather phenomenon prevailed.

Based on the latest readings at the Angat Dam in Bulacan, the main source of raw water for the national capital, the water level at the reservoir was at 198.8 meters above sea level (masl) as of the morning of April 12.

“Given this [water level reading], it looks like there is still sufficient water for the summer,” Jeric T. Sevilla, head of Manila Water Co. Inc.’s corporate communications unit, said in an interview.

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According to the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, the water from the Angat Dam is funneled to Ipo Dam and then through aqueducts until it reaches the La Mesa Dam where there are treatment plants.

At 198.8 last Wednesday, water in Angat was 10 meters higher than 188.8 masl, the lowest reading for the same day in past years—based on data from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration.

Even then, the reading was 13.2 meters below Angat’s normal high water level of 212 masl, the level at which dam managers would consider unloading water for safety reasons.

“We don’t know how long this year’s summer season will be or when the rains will come because of climate change,” Sevilla told the Inquirer.

“But assuming that the rains will come by July as usually expected, there is no reason for alarm,” he said. “We are in a much better position compared to last year.”

Sevilla said Angat loses an average of 26 centimeters of water daily due to drawdown of supplies for domestic use as well as for irrigation.

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TAGS: El Niño, Metro Manila, Water Supply
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