Daily Tribune (Philippines)

NWRB warns against looming water crisis

- BY MARIA ROMERO @tribunephl_mbr

The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) will have to resort to cloud seeding operations to mitigate a looming water crisis due to the continuous decline of water elevation in Angat Dam.

In a radio interview, NWRB Executive Director Sevillo David Jr. expressed concern over the “quite low” water level in Angat Dam, the main source of water supply in Metro Manila.

“If we compare to previous years, it is quite low so we need to prepare for the situation,” David said.

The water level in the Angat Dam in Bulacan slightly dropped to 195.31 meters on Monday from 195.5 meters over the weekend. Its spilling level is 217 meters.

The NWRB attributed the decline to low precipitat­ion in the watershed. As forecasted by the weather bureau, Luzon will remain dry until the end of February.

While it can still cover the water requiremen­t of Metro Manila, the metropolis cannot afford yet another water crisis amid the approachin­g summer months while the country battles a global pandemic.

Based on the latest data from the Metropolit­an Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), the water level in Ipo Dam in Bulacan also slightly dipped to 98.48 meters on Monday from 98.55 meters on Friday.

The La Mesa Dam in Quezon City likewise marginally dropped to 78.20 meters from 78.32 meters.

Angat Dam ended 2021 with 202.66 meters water elevation — 10 meters lower than the 212 meters year-end target. But the MWSS said, in an advisory posted on its website, that the current supply is still sufficient to meet the summer requiremen­ts.

To avert a looming crisis, both the Manila Water Co. and Maynilad Water Services Inc. have placed their respective contingenc­y plans.

East zone concession­aire Manila Water said it is maximizing the 100 million-liter-per-day (MLD) capacity of the Cardona Water Treatment Plant, which draws water from Laguna Lake.

It is also operating its deep wells which can provide an additional 115 MLD and its 20-MLD Marikina Portable Water Treatment Plant, which can treat water from the Marikina River.

Meanwhile, west zone concession­aire Maynilad said it optimizes its two water treatment facilities in Muntinlupa that now produce 300 MLD of water also drawn from Laguna Lake.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines