Dry taps ahead as El Niño bites

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FEEL THE HEAT Lining up for water will be a common sight beginning next week when Manila Water and Maynilad start implementing a rotating water service interruption because of  the El Niño phenomenon.  PHOTO BY MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

FEEL THE HEAT Lining up for water will be a common sight beginning next week when Manila Water and Maynilad start implementing a rotating water service interruption because of the El Niño phenomenon. PHOTO BY MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

Many areas in Metro Manila will experience 12-hour rotating water shortages in the coming months as part of measures to mitigate the impact of the El Niño phenomenon, which state weather bureau Pagasa said has gained strength.

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In a news briefing, Pagasa experts on Tuesday said the ongoing El Niño is now considered “strong.” They are also 90 percent sure that the dry spell will last until April or May. There is also a 70 percent chance that the effects will extend up to July.

According to the National Water Resources Board (NWRB), the water level at Angat Dam–the primary water source of Metro Manila–is not enough to sustain irrigation and power production, prompting the board to make a priority the allocation of water for household use.

The water level at Angat Dam was recorded at 186.24 meters as of Monday morning. The water level is 13 percent below the year-end target level of 212 meters.

For September, the NWRB has allocated 38 cubic meters per second (cms) per household, down from 41 cms in July and August.

The allocation in the coming months may change depending on the amount of rainfall during the period.

“We need to manage the water level in Angat Dam so we can sustain adequate water for the public until this El Niño phenomenon ends next year,” NWRB Executive Director Dr. Sevillo David Jr. said.

Representatives of water concessionaires Maynilad and Manila Water said they are trying to avoid 24-hour interruptions by rotating the availability of water. They added that some areas will not experience water loss but will get lower pressure.

According to Maynilad, around 230,000 households in Quezon City, Parañaque City and Valenzuela City (all in Mtero Manila) and Cavite will not have water for almost 12 hours a day beginning Tuesday next week.

Over 125,000 households in Quezon City, and Antipolo City and the cities of Taguig, Pasig and Marikina (also all in Metro Manila) that are serviced by Manila Water will experience water interruptions by Thursday next week.
WITH PNA

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