MWSS ENJOINS CONSUMERS TO CONSERVE WATER
The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) is appealing to the consumers to use water wisely and support efforts to ensure ample water supply amid the presence of a mild El Niño phenomenon in the Philippines.
According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), this development has resulted in the upgrade of the ENSO Alert System to El Niño Advisory.
“This year may be the warmest year in record because of El Niño worsened by man-made global warming, climate scientists warned,” the agency said in a statement on Thursday.
While there is sufficient water supply, MWSS Administrator Reynaldo Velasco calls on everyone to save water and help cushion water shortage as El Niño has varying impacts such as delayed onset of rainy season.
“Since we primarily source our water from Angat-Ipo-La Mesa water system, we have to do our share to help lessen the effect of El Niño not only on our need for water in our households and industries but also on agriculture,” Velasco said.
As a rule, discharge for potable water supply becomes the priority during drought events, reducing water releases for agricultural irrigation and power generation.
Water from Angat passes through Ipo Dam where it is then released to La Mesa Dam. Pagasa said La Mesa Dam has a 47-cubic-meter-per-second (cms) allocation of water from Angat Dam, higher than the 44 cms the government normally earmarks for La Mesa Dam during dry season.
The water level at La Mesa is recorded below normal level and has prompted calls for water conservation from concerned sectors to maintain water reserve availability.
As of March 5, its reservoir water level is 69.47 meters, down from its normal high water level of 80. 15 meters. With the onset of the dry season, and the increasing demand from burgeoning population has contributed to the decline in water level.
However, it does not imply a water shortage looms for residents of Metro Manila and neighboring provinces unless there is disregard for water conservation until the rainy months set in.
The rainfall for Angat watershed for March is forecast at 38.1 percent, way below normal and 68.8 percent, below normal for April.
Rainfall condition is way below normal if the percentage is less than or = 40; below normal if it is 41-80; near normal, 81- 120; and above normal if it is greater than 120.
For Metro Manila, projected rainfall is at 37.8 percent in March, way below normal although April, May and June rainfall forecasts are below normal.
The Bulacan province, which houses the Angat reservoir also has a way below normal rainfall forecast at 32.1 percent in March.
Except for southern Mindanao and Surigao del Sur where near normal is likely, most parts of the country is forecast to have way below to below normal rainfall conditions this month.
According to the agency’s Climate Outlook for March-August 2019 average to slightly warmer than average temperature will prevail during the period.
Six to nine tropical cyclones may develop / enter the Philippine area of responsibility but the frequency will be below average based on historical perspectives. Pagasa also projected meteorological dry spell to drought conditions in most areas in the country in the coming months.
To ease the strain on the Angat-Ipo-La-Mesa water system and ensure water supply during this period, the MWSS has its water security plan for 2018-2023 in place aimed among others.
This stop-gap measure consists of the A-B-C projects and Wawa Dam Project of the consortium of tycoons Enrique Razon and Oscar Violago, pending the completion of the Kaliwa Dam.