Angat Dam nears 160-meter critical level; regulators to slash water supply

The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) announced today that they are likely to reduce Metro Manila’s water supply once Angat Dam reaches the critical level of 160 meters.

NWRB Executive Director Sevillo David explained in an interview on radio station DZMM that they will reduce the city’s water supply if rains don’t bring enough water to replenish the dam’s quickly dwindling reserve.

“If the rains don’t arrive [and bring enough water] and the water level continues to go down, there’s a chance that it might reach 160 meters and lower,” he said in Filipino. “When it reaches 160 meters, we will be forced to reduce the water allocation for Metro Manila.”

Reaching the critical level is a looming possibility, despite the fact that the rainy season officially began last week. The water level in Angat, a major water resource for Metro Manila residents, already stands at 161.78 meters as of 6am today, according to the website of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration.

That’s a far cry from 180 meters, the minimum level that the dam needs in order to operate at a normal level. NWRB said that the government will continue cloud-seeding operations to bring in more rains, reported Rappler. 

The looming water shortage has led Maynilad, the company supplying water to Metro Manila’s west zone, to implement rotational water interruptions since early this month.

Maynilad corporate communications head Jen Rufo said today on the show New Day on CNN Philippines that the interruptions usually occur from 10pm to 5am.

“Right now, what we’re doing is we are trying to do some pressure management in some areas. This means that during off-peak hours — this is 10 pm to 5 am — some areas already feel lower pressure or no water,” Rufo said. “In this way, we are able to maximize the limited supply that’s available in the system.”

Meanwhile, Manila Water, the company that supplies Metro Manila’s east zone, announced on Sunday on their Facebook page that they will have rotational water service interruptions in the entire zone if the water level at Angat continues to dip.

Manila and nearby towns were first hit by a water crisis in March when Manila Water first implemented rotational water service interruptions, which continues until this day in a few areas. At least 1.2 million households have been affected since these interruptions occurred.

This article, Angat Dam nears 160-meter critical level; regulators to slash water supply, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!