dams in the Philippines

Angat Dam dips below minimum operating water level


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Angat Dam dips below minimum operating water level

KEY WATER SOURCE. The Angat Dam in Norzagaray, Bulacan, on July 6, 2023.

Jire Carreon/Rappler

The Angat Dam's water level drops to 179.68 meters on Thursday, May 23. The downward trend is expected to continue.

MANILA, Philippines – The Angat Dam in Bulacan dropped below its minimum operating water level of 180 meters on Thursday, May 23, amid the prolonged lack of sufficient rainfall.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) recorded a water level of 179.68 meters at 8 am on Thursday.

That is a 0.39-meter drop from the 180.07 meters at 8 am on Wednesday, May 22.

Roy Badilla, officer-in-charge of PAGASA’s Office of the Deputy Administrator for Operations and Services, said in a briefing on Thursday that the Angat Dam’s water level will continue to decrease in the next month or so before finally going up.

“Ang inaasahan po natin…mag-uumpisa pong umangat po ‘yung water level ng Angat around July hanggang August,” Badilla said.

“Tumataas po ito ‘pag oras na ng southwest monsoon, kung saan ‘yung ating rainfall ay dito na nagcoconcentrate sa western side, kung saan nandoon po ‘yung reservoir ng Angat Dam.”

(We expect Angat’s water level to start increasing around July to August. It usually goes up during the southwest monsoon season, when rainfall is concentrated on the western side, where the Angat Dam reservoir is located.)

By June 30, PAGASA estimates Angat’s water level may be down to 171.38 meters.

The low pressure area which is likely to develop into Tropical Depression Aghon may bring rain to some dams in Luzon in the coming days. But “it will not suffice” because significant rainfall is needed to fill up these dams, according to Oskar Cruz, OIC of PAGASA’s Hydro-Meteorology Division.

In the case of the Angat Dam, PAGASA Weather Facilities Specialist Juan Elmer Caringal said it needs 1,617 millimeters of rain for it to reach its normal high water level of 212 meters.

The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System previously said it does not see Angat plunging to its critical low level of 160 meters. But the government has been urging the public to conserve water, especially during El Niño and the warm and dry season

The Angat Dam supplies over 90% of Metro Manila’s water needs. – Rappler.com

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