MWSS sees sufficient supply of water despite low Angat levels

DECLINING water levels at Angat Dam remain sufficient to supply Metro Manila and nearby provinces as the dry season kicks in, the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) said.

“We are confident that the water in Angat and all other sources like Laguna Lake and Wawa will be sufficient,” Leonor C. Cleofas, administrator of MWSS, said in a Viber message to BusinessWorld on Monday.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) reported that the water level in Angat Dam declined to 199.37 meters on April 10 from 199.76 meters on April 9.

The dam has a minimum operating level of 180 meters operating level and a normal high-water level of 212 meters. The latter is considered the ideal level with adequate safety margins during the dry months.

“Angat level is way above the 180-meter level (which is the trigger for) priority allocation to domestic water” instead of irrigation, Ms. Cleofas said.

Angat Dam is the main source of water for Metro Manila, accounting for about 90% of the capital’s potable water.

PAGASA also said that El Niño is set to develop in the second half of the year and run until 2024.

“The PAGASA forecast is that if ever there is an El Niño the impact is early next year. Anyway, we have to use our water wisely,” Ms. Cleofas said.

Asked to comment, representatives of Maynilad Water Services, Inc. and Manila Water Co., Inc. said their water augmentation measures are in place.

“It is expected for the water level in Angat Dam to go down as the summer season progresses. The Angat Dam technical working group is monitoring the water elevation trend regularly to ensure that it stays at healthy levels,” Jennifer C. Rufo, head of Maynilad’s corporate communications, said in a Viber message on Monday.

Ms. Rufo said water service interruptions in areas served by Maynilad will continue.

“As long as our raw water allocation is unchanged, then the current service levels in our concession area will stay the same,” she said.

Earlier, Maynilad said customers will continue to experience service interruptions as supply remains inadequate.

Maynilad supplies water to the west zone of Metro Manila while Manila Water provides water for the east zone.

Manila Water has said it will maximize the production of its treatment plants and water sources to ensure uninterrupted water services as demand increases.

“Same contingency measures. We continue to supply 24/7 to our customers except during times of preventive and regular maintenance and emergency repair activities,” Nestor Jeric T. Sevilla, Jr., Manila Water’s corporate strategic affairs group head said in a Viber message. — Ashley Erika O. Jose