Environment Secretary Ra-mon Paje stressed the need to conserve water at Angat Dam despite its abundance at present to ensure water availability at the height of the El Niño phenomenon early this year.
“Conservation should start this January even if Angat’s water level is high,” he said.
He noted that the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) will soon review Angat’s water situation and the latest El Niño forecast so government can allocate water from the dam accordingly for the coming months.
Rain-fed Angat supplies water for irrigation, power generation and Metro Manila’s needs.
Last year, NWRB reduced allocation of Angat water for Metro Manila and suspended normal supply of irrigation water.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) had warned that El Niño may intensify to a new record level, further prompting government to implement contingency measures.
In late 2015, however, Angat Dam’s water situation improved as rainfall from several tropical cyclones increased its reserve.
On Saturday, the dam’s water level stood at 213.50 meters, higher than the flood season high water level of 212 meters.
But Paje said that the public should still conserve water because of the possibility that there could be no rain for months.
Pagasa’s forecast released this week indicates Angat Dam will likely face water woes in the first semester of the year. The dam’s water level will likely dip to 208 meters by February, the weather bureau said.