A WATER truck delivers water in Manila following days of service interruption in this March 2023 photo. — PHILIPPINE STAR/EDD GUMBAN

THE NATIONAL Water Resources Board (NWRB) has decided to reduce the water allocation for Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) as Angat Dam’s water level is expected to fall below its minimum operating level this weekend.

NWRB Executive Director Sevillo D. David, Jr., said the agency will automatically modify the allocation for MWSS to 48 cubic meters per second (CMS) and 20 CMS for National Irrigation Administration (NIA) once the elevation in Angat Dam drops below the 180-meter level.

“As of now, the water level in Angat continues to decline and once it hits below 180 meters, we need to prioritize the water supply for Metro Manila,” Mr. David told reporters.

Mr. David said the agency has also taken into consideration the projections of the Philippine state weather bureau of lower rainfall phenomenon due to El Niño by the latter part of the year.

With little to no rainfall projections, the Angat Dam will not have enough time to replenish and meet the water needs of Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

Angat Dam serves as the main water source of Metro Manila, supplying about 90% of the capital region’s water requirements.

Data from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) showed that the water level in Angat Dam declined to 180.89 meters as of 6 a.m. on Thursday from 181.22 meters a day earlier.

Mr. David said that at the rate of Angat Dam’s decline, the NWRB is expecting the water level in Angat to hit below 180 meters by this weekend.

For July, the NWRB reduced the water allocation for MWSS to 50 CMS from 52 CMS in June. Normally, MWSS only draws 48 CMS from the Angat Dam, but the MWSS earlier requested an increase in water allocation to minimize water service interruptions. Ashley Erika O. Jose