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Falling Angat levels could lead to MWSS water allocation cut in July

THE National Water Resources Board (NWRB) said it is considering reducing the water allocation for the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) next month due to the decline in Angat Dam water levels.

“The water level in Angat Dam continues to drop; we need to control the releases to ensure we have enough water supply,” Sevillo O. David, Jr., NWRB executive director, said in a Laging Handa briefing on Monday.

He said that the NWRB must find a water allocation that can still support the water requirements of Metro Manila and nearby provinces, which are supplied principally from Angat.

Last week, the NWRB approved the request of the MWSS to extend the 52 cubic meters per second (CMS) water allocation from June 16 until the end of month.

The NWRB had previously agreed to raise the allocation to 52 CMS for June 1-15. MWSS normally draws 48 CMS from Angat Dam.

The government weather service, known as PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration), reported that the water level in Angat Dam declined to 186.15 meters early on June 19, from 186.55 meters a day earlier.

Angat’s minimum operating level is 180 meters.

Angat accounts for about 90% of the capital region’s potable water.

Mr. David said that due to the expected El Niño dry spell, preparations to address any potential water shortages should be in place as early as now.

The El Niño phenomenon is expected to manifest between June and August at an 80% forecast probability, and may persist until the first quarter of 2024, PAGASA said. — Ashley Erika O. Jose

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