Gov’t slashes irrigation allocation from Angat Dam, domestic supply unaffected

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MANILA — Regulators in May will reduce the allocation for irrigation from Angat Dam and the supply rate to households in Metro Manila, the National Water Resources Board said Monday. 

The water level at Angat Dam, which provides water to the metropolis and Central Luzon, was at 179.5 meters as of 6 a.m., below the 180-meter minimum level required for normal operations, according to data from PAGASA

Starting May, water supply for agriculture would be down to 10 cubic meters per second from April's 35 cubic meters per second, said NWRB Executive Director Dr. Sevillo David Jr. 

Angat Dam's allocation for households in Metro Manila remains at 48 cubic meters per second, he said. 

"Mas binibigyan po natin ng prayoridad iyung water supply sa Metro Manila po, kasunod po ang irigasyon," he said. 

(We are giving higher priority to the water supply in Metro Manila over irrigation.) 

The supply reduction will have minimal effect on agricultural produce because farmers are already in the middle of the planting season, which needs less water compared to its outset, during which fields need to be soaked, David earlier said. 

Angat Dam's declining level, lack of rains due to El Niño, and high demand have been blamed for a water supply outage that brought misery to more than a million households in Metro Manila in March. 

No storm is expected to form over Philippine waters and replenish the water level of Angat Dam until the month ends, PAGASA weather forecaster Meno Mendoza said Sunday. 

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