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Water service interruptions in Metro Manila may continue – NWRB

Water supply interruptions in Metro Manila are feared to continue until the dry season this year, with Angat Dam failing to reach its end-of-year normal high water level of 212 meters in 2019.

The water level of Angat Dam continued to gradually increase due to some rains since last month, but its current level is below the 212-meter target by end of 2019.

Based on the latest monitoring of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Angat Dam’s water level was slightly up from 201.51 meters last Tuesday to 201.71 meters on Wednesday.

National Water Resources Board (NWRB) Exceutive Director Sevillo David Jr. said they are still managing water releases by not giving the normal allocation.

NWRB continued to allocate 40 cubic meters per second (cms) or 3,450 million liters per day (MLD) of raw water to the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) for distribution to water concessionaires Maynilad and Manila Water this month. This is still lower than the normal allocation for domestic use of 46-48 cms. 

MWSS has been allocated 40 cms of raw water since September 1, 2019.

The availability of sufficient water for domestic and irrigation uses until the dry season of 2020 is crucial with the Angat Dam failing to reach its desired level in 2019.

Dry season in the Philippines is usually from December to May.

David earlier pointed out the possibility of water supply interruptions for domestic use coming from Angat Dam. This is due to current reduction in water allocation to make sure that there will be enough water until the next “habagat” or rainy season in June.

Maynilad and Manila Water currently serves about 16.5 million consumers in Metro Manila and some parts of Rizal, Laguna, Cavite, and Bulacan.

Several areas in Metro Manila and nearby provinces have been experiencing water service disruptions since October 24, 2019 owing to Angat Dam’s lower-than-usual water level.

To augment water source at Angat Dam in case it is needed, David said NWRB will be tapping some deep wells within Metro Manila. Cloud seeding operations are also on standby, he added. (Ellalyn de Vera-Ruiz) 

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