Water supply from Angat Dam may last just 3 weeks if no rain, says scientist

Angat dam

MANILA – Metro Manila’s principal source of water supply may be exhausted in just 3 weeks if rains fail to replenish water in Angat Dam, a scientist detailed on Sunday.

Although rains brought on by the southwest monsoon and tropical depression Egay have slowed down the waning in Angat Dam’s water level, Dr. Carlos Primo David said the rains were not enough and the reservoir is still way below its critical level.

David, a geologist with the University of the Philippines (UP) Resilience Institute, said the critical level of Angat Dam is 180 meters, but water in the reservoir has already fallen below 160 meters.

As of 6 a.m., Angat’s level was at the 158.64-meter mark, up from Saturday’s 157.96-meter level, according to the PAGASA website.

David, who is a professor at the UP National Institute of Geological Sciences (NIGS), said the recent rains had given Metro Manila an extra 2 days of water supply.

“I calculate that it would increase by about 1 meter after all this rain,” David said in an interview.

But David added that “we need about 30 days, at least, of that kind of rain that we experienced yesterday” to bring Angat to its normal level, “We’re definitely not out of the woods yet.”

Metro Manila may have only 3 weeks of water left at the current supply level and consumption; David noted.

“The unused Wawa Dam in Rodriguez, Rizal can be used to augment Metro Manila’s water supply while authorities develop a new and bigger water source,” he added.

“Wawa Dam could be made operational in just 2 to 3 years and supply 100 million liters of water per day. This could be increased to up to 500 million liters per day later,” he furthered. “That would give us some wiggle room in the next few years until we find a more viable and bigger source.”

A suggested source could be the Kaliwa Dam being planned in Infanta, Quezon. But David also noted that this project was still hindered in controversies.

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