By Jonathan L. Mayuga, June 18 2019; Business Mirror

Image Credit to Business Mirror

AS the water level in Angat Dam continues to go down, the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) has appealed to Metro Manila’s consumers to conserve water for a little longer or until the effect of the “wet season” is strongly felt—hopefully, by the end of the month.

To ensure that the supply coming from Angat Dam will last until fresh supply from the  rains comes in, the NWRB advised people to minimize the use of water flowing from the tap, and use harvested rainwater to water plants, wash cars, or flush toilets for the meantime.

Angat is the source of about 96 percent of water for Metro Manila.

At a press conference in Quezon City on Monday, NWRB Executive Director Sevillo D. David Jr. said that as of 6 a.m. on June 17, 2019, the water level at Angat Dam went down to 162.39 meters.  This is 17.61 meters below the minimum operating water level of 180 meters.

Although the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) announced that the rainy season has officially begun, rainfall has not boosted water supply at Angat for the past weeks, the NWRB said in a statement to media.

El Niño, David said, will continue to affect the weather systems.   Moreover, the NWRB cited a weather bureau forecast that heavy rainfall is highly unlikely this week due to a monsoon break in the country.

“It is estimated that water elevation in the reservoir will breach the low-level mark of 160 meters by the third week of June 2019 if the prevailing conditions in Angat Dam persist and no sufficient rainfall is received [at Angat] watershed, considering the current rate of decline in water elevation,” the NWRB said.The level is considered critical for domestic water supply.

According to Sevillo, in this scenario, several measures will be undertaken to manage the remaining water, including the operationalization of the Angat Dam Low Level Outlet (LLO), the bottom channel capable of releasing water below 160 meters.