Angat Dam nears critical level; water supply cut looms over Metro Manila

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 18 2019 07:59 AM | Updated as of Jun 18 2019 08:17 AM

The water intake platform becomes visible as the water level at Angat Dam dips further, June 16, 2019. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Water supply for Metro Manila may be slashed as Angat Dam's water level continued to slide closer to the critical level, regulators and the state weather bureau said Tuesday. 

Angat Dam, which supplies water to the metropolis and Central Luzon, dipped to 161.78-meter mark as of 6 a.m., according to weather agency PAGASA's website. 

This figure is below the 180-meter minimum level required for normal operations and just 2 meters above the 160-meter critical level, noted National Water Resources Board Executive Director Sevillo David. 

"Kung hindi pa po darating ang mga pag-ulan at patuloy ang pagbaba, may tsansa po na umabot s'ya sa 160 meters at pababa pa rin po doon," he told radio DZMM. 

"'Pag umabot po s'ya ng 160 meters, mapipilitan po tayong magbawas na ng alokasyon para sa Metro Manila water supply," the official warned. 

(If the rains do not come and the dam's level continues to slide, there is a chance that it will reach 160 meters or even lower. If it reaches 160 meters, we will be forced to reduce the allocation for Metro Manila's water supply.) 

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The NWRB last month slashed water allocation for agriculture, saying this would not affect food supply because farmers were already in the middle of the planting season. 

Angat Dam's declining water level, lack of rains due to El Niño, and high demand were blamed for a water supply shortage that brought misery to more than a million households in Metro Manila in March. 

PAGASA on Friday declared the start of the rainy season

However, PAGASA also said weak El Niño conditions which were felt in the tropical Pacific since the last quarter of 2018 is "likely to continue" until August.