Water reserve levels in more dams are seen to dip in the following months, the country’s weather bureau said Monday.
Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) points to hot weather, scarce rainfall due to a weak El Niño, and higher consumption due to a growing population for the supply dip.
PAGASA hydrologist Jayson Bausa said when water demand peaks in summer, the Angat Dam up north where the metro sources 96 percent of its water, will hit critical levels.
“Bago matapos ang May maabot na ang [Before May it will hit] critical,” he said.
Bausa warned that hitting such level might lead to water interruptions in the entirety of Metro Manila.
Another dam in Isabela province, the Magat Dam, also showed signs of decline. Over the weekend, the water level in the dam went down by 1 meter, from 170.91 meters on March 9 to 169.78 meters on March 11.
“Pag bumaba siya ng 160 ma-meet na niya critical stage ng interruption, sa irrigation, sa power generation,” Bausa warned.
[Translation:If it goes down to 160 meters it will meet the critical stage of interruption, on irrigration, power generation.]
The level in La Mesa Dam, where Metro Manila gets 3 percent of its supply, has fallen below the 69 meter critical mark. This is the lowest for the dam in 12 years.
Manila Water, one of the concessionaires in the metro, announced water interruptions following the decline in water levels in La Mesa Dam. Residents in the most affected areas such as Mandaluyong City and Pasig City expressed dissatisfaction over the lack of supply for days.
While cloud seeding is seen as a solution, the summer season does not provide cloud formation. PAGASA, instead, urges people to conserve water.