Angat Water Elevation Falls Below Minimum Operating Level

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Rains experienced in this province in the last three months are not enough to raise the water elevation of Angat Dam.

Records from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office of Bulacan showed that as of 6 a.m. Thursday, the water elevation of Angat Dam was 179.69 meters which is 0.31 meter below the 180-meter minimum operating level.

The dam provides 97 percent of Metro Manila’s potable water supply and the primary source of irrigation of Bulacan province’s irrigated rice lands and some parts of Pampanga’s farmlands.

Sevillo David Jr., executive director of the National Water Resources Board (NWRB), earlier said that “as per our protocol, if the [Angat water] level reaches below 180 meters, water supply for Metro Manila is prioritized.”

The NWRB usually suspends the irrigation water allocation coming from Angat Dam when its water elevation falls below the 180-meter level.

In a text message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA), David said the water allocation for Metro Manila and irrigation supply to Bulacan and some parts of Pampanga farmlands is maintained at 46 cubic meters per second (cms) and 30 cms, respectively for the month of September.

He said they are guided by the near normal to above normal rainfall projections of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration for the rest of the year and probable occurrence of a La Niña episode by the last quarter of the year.

“Considering that we are at the middle part of the wet cropping season, the water allocation for the domestic needs of Metro Manila and irrigation supply to Bulacan and some parts of Pampanga is maintained even if the water elevation of Angat Dam falls below the 180 minimum operating level,” David said.

On the other hand, Noel Miranda, federation president of National Irrigation Administration’s irrigators associations of Pandi, Bustos, Plaridel, and Bocaue Working Station No.2, said that since it is still wet season, rice farmers are not that much concerned about the irrigation supply coming from Angat Dam.

“What worries them most is the irrigation water allocation coming from Angat Dam for the dry-cropping season if not enough rains fall in its watersheds until the end of the year and push its water elevation to a comfortable level,” Miranda added. (PNA)

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