PAGASA urges Metro Manila residents to conserve water as Angat Dam hits below critical level

By on May 12, 2014

View of Angat Dam from San Lorenzo (Hilltop), Norzagaray, Bulacan.
View of Angat Dam from San Lorenzo (Hilltop), Norzagaray, Bulacan. Wikipedia photo

MANILA (PNA) — The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) on Monday urged residents in Metro Manila to rationalize their use of water as the water level in Angat Dam in Bulacan is now below its critical level of 180 meters.

Angat dam supplies more than 90 percent of the water needs of Metro Manila.

PAGASA hydrologist Danilo Flores said the supply of irrigation water from Angat has been stopped on Monday afternoon.

He said that from 180.12 meters water elevation last Sunday morning, Flores said the level has further dropped to 179.80 meters on Monday.

Flores said they still expect the water elevation to further plunge in the coming days due to the extreme heat and lack of rains.

Although localized thunderstorms were sometimes experienced in some parts of Bulacan, he noted that this have no effect at Angat Dam since the rainfall never reached its watershed.

“In the past few days, the rainfall in Angat is zero,” Flores noted.

Flores urged the public to continuously conserve water to prevent a possible “water crisis.”

Citing the National Water Resources Board (NWRB), he said Angat Dam’s critical level for drinking water is at 160 meters.

Flores noted that the last time Angat’s drinking water level dropped below critical was in July 2010, when the dam had its record-low of 157.10 meters.

But he said it is unlikely that Angat’s level for drinking water will dip below critical this year as they are already expecting rains starting next month.

Angat supplies 97 percent of Metro Manila’s water needs.

It also provides water for the irrigation requirements of thousands of hectares of farmlands in Bulacan and Pampanga.

Part of the dam’s water supply is also used to generate electricity for Luzon.

Built and first operated in the 1960s, Angat Dam impounds water from Angat River.