Angat water level only rises 2m despite storm

ALTHOUGH Tropical Storm “Kabayan” [international name: Mujigae] flooded parts of Aurora, Nueva Ecija and Bulacan, the water it poured into Angat Dam will not be enough to replenish the reservoir’s dwindling water supply.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said estimated rainfall is projected to be moderate to heavy within the 300-km diameter of the storm.

Dangerously close. A resident of Barangay San Rafael, Montalban, Rizal, looks at an overflowing river on Friday. The flooding brought by Typhoon ‘Kabayan’ rendered numerous roads in Luzin impassable. LINO SANTOS

“[The rain brought by Kabayan] will not replenish the water supply because the expected add up level is up to two meters only. So it’s not yet sufficient to solve our water supply,” said weather forecaster Aldczar Aurelio.

Aurelio said Kabayan gained more strength as it moved toward the West Philippine Sea. It was last sighted 205 km northwest of Dagupan City with maximum sustained winds of 75 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 90 kph.

But Pagasa has already lifted all public storm warning signals and Kabayan was expected to be out of the Philippine Area of Responsibility around midnight Friday.

The weather bureau is closely monitoring the water level at Angat Dam because the country may be undergoing one of the strongest episodes of El Niño since 1950.

According to the latest Pagasa update, about 69 percent of the country will experience the drought and dry spell by the end of the year.

Effects will intensify in the first quarter next year where 68 provinces or 85 percent nationwide will be hit.

On Thursday, the National Water Resources Board said it has decided to further reduce the water allocation for Metro Manila from the 38 cubic meters per second last month to 36 cms because of Angat Dam’s receding water level.

Water level at Angat Dam is at least 189.91 meters on Thursday, 20.09 meters below its normal high water level.

On Friday, Maynilad Water Services Inc. said it will be able to maintain the current supply situation in the West Zone until Oct. 11 despite reduced allocation of raw water from Angat Dam for Metro Manila this month.

 The water company has been implementing scheduled water service interruptions that affect 56 pecent of its customers since Sept. 16. These daily supply interruptions are limited to off-peak hours, from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m.

Maynilad said it is able to maintain this supply situation until next week because of the rains that fell over the Ipo Watershed with the entry of Typhoon Kabayan.

Water from Ipo Dam augments supply from Angat Dam, which is the main supply source for Metro Manila. Ipo Dam is shared by Maynilad and Manila Water.

“Should rains stop in the next few days owing to the strong El Niño, the Ipo Dam will no longer be able to sustain the deficiency of supply from Angat Dam,” Maynilad said.

“At this point, Maynilad’s current service level will be affected. More customers will experience daily service interruptions with duration ranging from 10 hours to as much as 20 hours,” Maynilad added.

Maynilad said it will give two days’ advance notice before it is forced to implement changes to the current supply situation.



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