A Bulacan official said on Wednesday that he was pressed to intervene with the operations of Angat, Bustos and Ipo dams last week to avoid spawning more floods in the waterlogged areas in the region.
Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado of Bulacan said that the uncoordinated release of excess water of the three dams could have caused more floods in the submerged towns in Bulacan.
Last week, Angat was reported to have reached on Friday 203.56 meters—a few meters shy from its spilling level of 210 meters.
“Another surge of intensive rainfall could spell doom for low-lying towns like Hagonoy and Calumpit as well as the city of Malolos because they will be forced again to discharge excess water,” Alvarado explained.
Alvarado met with the operators of Angat, Ipo and Bustos dams last week after the water elevation at Angat dam hit its 200-meter mark. Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) administrator Gerry Esquivel and disaster control officials were also present to discuss the operation.
The governor urged engineer Precioso Donato Punzalan, supervising operations assistant of Bustos dam, to conduct a preemptive release to ensure a safe water-holding capacity in case the Angat dam reach its spilling level.
“Why should excess water should always be dumped on Bulacan, might it not be possible to halve the volume of water releases to bolster Bustos dam’s water-carrying capacity?” the governor said.
Punzalan was said to have agreed to release 100 cubic meters per second of water until the water level at Bustos dam subside to 16.80 meters. Bustos dam has a spilling level of 17.70 meters. He said that the release gave the dam more space in case Angat and Ipo dams opened their spill gates.
Alvarado also suggested the preemptive release of the dams during good weather and not just on heavy rains or storms.
Alvarado said that during the recent monsoon, operators of Bustos dam released 500 cubic meters per second of water. He said that this release worsened the floods in Malolos, Hagonoy and Calumpit.
A disaster control official explained that the problem was that the three dams have different protocols in discharging excess waters in cases of overflows.