This came as water elevation at the dam dropped to 200.02 meters above sea level (masl) yesterday or six meters lower than the upper rule curve or usual water elevation for this time of the year. Angat Dam supplies 97 percent of Metro Manila’s potable water requirement
Engineer Rodolfo German, manager of the Arhepp, said in a telephone interview that proposed mitigation measures for the dry spell should be implemented as soon as possible.
“In my opinion, all activities to mitigate effects of this dry spell should start ASAP,” he said.
German said that mitigating activities includes cloud seeding operations need to fill the dam and wet the watershed around it.
Earlier, he said that water impounded in the giant reservoir might not be enough until summer as the country faces El Niño, a weather phenomenon highlighted by a prolong dry spell.
One of the factors he cited was the fact that water elevation at the dam was low at the start of the year.
Records showed that water elevation at the dam started with only 2004 masl by the start of the year, wherein the ideal elevation is 208 to 210 meters.
As this developed, Malacanang activated the El Niño Task Force on Tuesday and said that six provinces in Central Luzon are among the highly vulnerable areas to dry spell.
Agriculture officials in the region when contacted by Punto Central Luzon yesterday failed to comment on what preparations they have. Farmers have been complaining of low water supply for irrigation in Bulacan and Southern Pampanga.
This was affirmed by a National Irrigation Administration (NIA) official who said that at least 5,000 hectares of farmlands in Bulacan and Pampanga are already affected.
Those farmlands are located in the towns of Balagtas, Pandi, Bocaue, Bulakan, Paombong, Hagonoy, Calumpit and the City of Malolos in Bulacan.
In Pampanga, affected ricelands are found in the towns of San Simon, Apalit, Candaba, and San Luis.
Local farmers noted that some of them have tried to re-plant rice after the onslaught of typhoon Ondoy, only to lose those crops to lack of water.