Despite the recent thunderstorms and heavy rains that repeatedly flooded many areas in Metro Manila and its surrounding provinces, the water elevation of Angat Dam in Bulacan has dipped to 179.69 meters as of September 2. This is 0.31 meter below its 180-meter minimum operating level.
Angat Dam provides 97 percent of Metro Manila’s potable water supply and is the primary source of irrigation of rice lands in Bulacan and some parts of Pampanga/
Sevillo David Jr., executive director of the National Water Resources Board (NWRB), earlier said their protocol mandates them that Angat’s water hits below 180 meters, water supply for Metro Manila is prioritized. The agency usually suspends irrigation water allocation from Angat Dam when its water elevation falls below 80-meters.
David said water allocation for Metro Manila and irrigation supply to Bulacan and some parts of Pampanga farmlands is maintained at 46 cubic meters (cms) per second and 30 cms, respectively in September.
“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 president Noel Miranda, however, said that since it is still wet season, rice farmers are not that much concerned about irrigation supply from Angat Dam.
“What worries them most is irrigation water supply from Angat Dam for the dry-cropping season “if not enough rains fall in its watersheds until yearend.”