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La Mesa Dam dips to critical level

A LONELY boat travels on the La Mesa Dam in Quezon City which has reached its critical level of 68.93 meters yesterday.  (Mark Balmores)

A LONELY boat travels on the La Mesa Dam in Quezon City which has reached its critical level of 68.93 meters yesterday. (Mark Balmores)

La Mesa Dam in Quezon City yesterday reached its critical level of 68.93 meters and it is now 0.18 meters short of its record-low 68.75 meters registered 21 years ago in 1998.

Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration hydrologist Ailene Abelardo said La Mesa Dam breached its 69-meter critical low water level at around 6 a.m.

La Mesa Dam measured 68.93 meters, down from last Sunday’s 69.02 meters. Its normal high water level is 80.15 meters.

Abelardo said the dam’s current level is only 0.18 meters below its lowest level of 68.75 meters in 1998.

Reduced rainfall is one of the most common impacts of an El Niño, and the country is currently affected by a weak El Niño event. The 1997-1998 El Niño episode was among the strongest events in history.

Abelardo pointed out that PAGASA has observed a significant reduction in rainfall over the catchment area of La Mesa Dam since September 2018. “So in January this year, La Mesa Dam’s water level was at 74 to 75 meters, which is significantly lower than the previous years,” she said.

With the dam’s critical level, “there will be a limited” water source for a portion of Metro Manila’s water consumers.

However, the water level of Angat Dam in Norzagaray, Bulacan, which supplies 97 percent of Metro Manila’s domestic water needs and irrigation for 27,000 hectares of farmlands in Bulacan and Pampanga, is “still high,” Abelardo said.

Angat Dam’s water level was 200.59 meters as of yesterday, higher than its low water level of 180 meters.

PAGASA weather specialist Lanie Bitagun said there is a low chance of rainfall in Metro Manila and most parts of Luzon and Visayas today. (Ellalyn V. Ruiz)

comments
  • Randolf Reyes

    Hindi ba pwedeng laliman yan at idredging? Tignan mo yung mga lumalabas na lupa sayang ang space nyan na pwede sanang water volume yan kaysa lupa.