Today's Punto
Today's Punto
Angat Dam can stand for another 60 years
By Dino Balabo

Sep 17, 2009

NORZAGARAY, Bulacan—No rehabilitation is needed yet for the 41-year old Angat Dam here as it can last for another 60 years, officials of the National Power Corporation (Napocor) said.

“There’s no rehabilitation needed yet for Angat Dam,” said Romualdo Beltran of the Napocor that manages the dam.

He said they found no crack on the dikes of the giant reservoir that supplies 97 percent of Metro Manila’s potable water requirement.

Beltran noted that they have been conducting periodic monitoring and assessment on the dam’s structure, and made assurance that it remains in safe condition.

Constructed in the early 1960’s, Angat Dam was commissioned in 1968 to supply water to the growing population of Metro Manila which used to depend for potable water source from the Wawa Dam in Rizal.

For his part, Engineer Rodolfo German, manager of the Angat River Hydro Electric Power Plant (ARHEPP) of the Napocor, said the Angat Dam can still last for another 60 years.

He said that dams are usually given a 50 year economic lifespan, confirming earlier statement of Engr. Jose Dimatulac of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) who said that Angat Dam is nearing the end of its lifespan.

German said the dam is still structurally strong but its holding capacity has been reduced due to its 41 years of operation.

He said that siltation at the dam’s reservoir is approximately 20 meters deep based on annual half meter accumulation of silts.

“Based on our estimates, Angat’s reservoir is at least 50 meters deep from the river bed to the surface,” he said noting that it can still hold enough water to meet the requirement of Metro Manila.

Angat Dam spilling level is set at 210 meters, but that depth is measured on sea level.

It means that while Angat Dam’s current water elevation is 210.08 meters, it does not have that much water because the dam’s river bed is at least 100 meters above sea level.

Earlier, the MWSS said there is a need for another water source for Metro Manila’s growing population and warned that there might be potable water shortage by 2015.

The MWSS pushed for the construction of the Laiban Dam in Rizal as proposed by the San Miguel Bulk Water Corporation.

However, to justify the urgency of constructing the Laiban Dam, the MWSS claimed that Angat Dam is old, have seepage and sitting on an active geological fault line.

This alarmed Bulacan officials led by Vice Governor Willy Alvarado who delivered a privileged speech on Tuesday.

Alvarado pushed for the rehabilitation of Angat Dam rather than constructing the Laiban Dam which will cost $2-Billion, but will only produce 1,900 million liters of water per day.

Alvarado and the rest of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan ng Bulacan is set to hold a investigation on the allegation of the MWSS.

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