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Lower water allotment for Metro Manila starts today

MANILA, Philippines — There will be no water supply interruptions despite the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) lowering the allocation for Metro Manila by one cubic meter per second (cms) starting today, an official of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) said yesterday.

The MWSS is still awaiting the NWRB’s decision on its request for the board to maintain the 50 cms allocation for Metro Manila, MWSS water and sewerage management department manager Patrick Dizon said in an interview with The STAR.

“We have yet to receive the advisory for the retention of the 50 cms. Based on the original memorandum (the NWRB) issued to us, our water allocation is 50 cms from May 1 to 15 and 49 cms for May 16 to 31. Yesterday, we sent a letter to the NWRB to retain 50 cms. We are just waiting for the reply,” he said.

Dizon said the MWSS cited as reason for the retention of the 50 cms allotment the forecast of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration that there is now a 60 percent chance of La Niña for July, August and September.

As of 8 a.m. yesterday, the water level of Angat Dam had dropped by 0.48 meters to 182.15 meters compared to its previous level of 182.83 meters. It is 29.85 meters below its normal high water level of 212 meters.

Its minimum operating level is 180 meters.

“What we can assure (the public) based on our meeting with Maynilad and Manila Water this morning, is that there will be no advisory for water interruption. If there will be interruptions, (those are) the normal maintenance activities,” Dizon said.

The water level of Angat Dam did not improve despite the rains in the past days, he noted, saying it needs days of rainfall to saturate the watersheds.

According to Dizon, the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) also agreed to allow the water concessionaires to borrow at least three cms from its allocation from Angat Dam.

“There was an advisory from NIA, that it will not use water for days. It rained in Bulacan and the harvest was completed so the irrigation needs no water,” Dizon said.

Angat Dam supplies more than 90 percent of Metro Manila’s potable water needs and provides for the