THE WATER allocation for Metro Manila has been reduced to 46 cubic meters per second (cms) from 48 cms to address the declining water levels in Angat Dam, the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) said.

In a mobile phone message, NWRB Executive Director Sevillo D. David Jr. said Angat Dam experienced low rainfall at its watershed during July and August.

"We reverted to the regular location of 46 cms considering the current level of Angat Dam," Mr. David said.

On Friday morning, water levels at Angat Dam fell 16 centimeters to 179.53 meters, below the dam's minimum operating level of 180 meters and far from its normal elevation of 212 meters, according to the government weather service, known as PAGASA.

However, Mr. David said the agency is looking forward to the rainfall projected by PAGASA.

"We are guided by the near-normal to above-normal rainfall projections of PAGASA for the rest of the year and probable occurrence of a La Niña episode by the last quarter of the year," Mr. David said.

Mr. David said the National Power Corp. (NPC), the National Irrigation Authority (NIA), and PAGASA are monitoring the situation and the possible impact on irrigation and the water supply of Metro Manila, which depends largely on Angat.

"Considering that we are at the middle part of the wet cropping season in Bulacan and Pampanga, coupled with the need for steady supply of water for Metro Manila as a preventive measure against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), water allocation for September is currently maintained at 46 cms," Mr. David said.

Mr. David said the NWRB is looking for other sources of water that may assist in meeting the water requirements of Metro Manila such as Laguna de Bay and deep wells.

"We are also expecting some local inflows to the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) reservoir during this rainy season to complement raw water releases from Angat Dam," Mr. David said.

Mr. David appealed to the public to use water responsibly while Angat levels deteriorate. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave