Magat Dam water level below normal

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RAMON, Isabela: Water level at Magat Dam has dropped six meters below normal due to the long drought in Isabela.

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National Irrigation Administration (NIA) officials said that once the water level of the dam reached the “critical level,” fish kills may occur.

Magat Dam reservoir manager Engineer Florentino Baniqued said the water elevation as of Friday was 167 meters with a water inflow of 24 cubic meters per second in the previous days.

Baniqued said farmer communities in the provinces of Isabela and Quirino are becoming severely affected due to lack of water supplied by the Magat Dam.

“[Magat Dam] is also the haven of fish farmers who are mostly raising tilapia using the technologies of the BFAR [Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources] regional office,” Baniqued explained.

In previous years, Baniqued said fishermen have encountered big losses due to fish kill brought by the El Nino phenomenon.

“We are therefore urging fish farmers along the Magat Dam to be vigilant and follow the proper handling of tilapia during summer season to avoid losses,” Baniqued said.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) is urging residents of Cagayan Valley to prepare for the El Niño phenomenon.

Pagasa officials said El Niño is expected to hit the country this month of June which may persist for the next nine months.

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