Amid the decreasing water level in Angat Dam, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) urged Metro Manila residents to save water to help ensure enough water supply during the dry season.
As of Wednesday, Jan. 26, the level of Angat Dam was at 197.79 meters–lower by 14.21 meters from its 212.0-meter normal high water level. Angat Dam is Metro Manila’s major source of water.
“Napakalaki ng kailangan na tubig ng Angat Dam. Wala tayong nao-observe na pag-ulan kaya continues yung pagbaba dahil marami tayong pinaggagamitan ng tubig ng Angat. Nandiyan yung power generation, irrigation, at daily use. Although may ilang pag-ulan, pero light lang, hindi sapat para mapataas yung level ng Angat Dam (The water requirement of Angat is huge. We have not observed rains so it decreased continuously. Also because we use a lot of water from Angat–there is for power generation, irrigation, and daily use. Although there are some light rains, it is not enough to raise the level of Angat Dam),” hydrologist Elmer Caringal said during the PAGASA’s Climate Outlook Forum on Wednesday, Jan. 26.
PAGASA-Climate Monitoring and Prediction Section chief Ana Liza Solis said the National Water Resources Board and Metro Manila residents have been advised as early as the last quarter of 2021 to be mindful of their water use.
“Kung titignan natin [ang projections], from February to May, below to near normal [rainfall] sa general portions kasama ang Luzon area, including the Angat dam area. Nakikita natin na may konting implikasyon ito kaya as early as last quarter of 2021 ay pinaghahanda na po natin ang ating mga kababayan natin sa Metro Manila na medyo magtipid po tayo ng tubig ngayon (If we look at the projections from February to May, we will have below to near normal rainfall in general portions including the Luzon area where Angat Dam is located. We are seeing that this has few implications, so as early as the last quarter of 2021, we are asking our kababayans in Metro Manila to save water now), Solis said.
“Nakikita po natin na medyo mababa ang posibleng pagdating ng ating mga ulan dahil magdidissipate na ang La Niña at yung kanyang impact ay nakaconcentrate sa Visayas and Mindanao. Konti na lang yung rain-bearing weather systems natin na inaasahan natin na posibleng makapagdagdag ng tubig sa Angat Dam at sa mga tributaries nito. Baka hindi po mareplenish ang Angat Dam dahil papunta na tayo sa dry season so magtipid po tayo sa ating tubig (We are seeing that the possible arrival of our rains is relatively low because La Niña will dissipate and its impact will be concentrated in Visayas and Mindanao. We only have a few rain-bearing weather systems that we hope will possibly add water to the Angat Dam and its tributaries. Angat Dam may not be replenished because we are going into the dry season so let’s save our water),” she added.
Based on the PAGASA’s rainfall forecast, by February, generally below normal to near normal rainfall conditions are likely in Luzon, while Visayas and Mindanao may receive near to above normal rainfall conditions.
By March, mostly near to above normal rainfall conditions are expected over most parts of the country except for below to near normal rainfall conditions in the Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos Region, and some parts of Central Luzon.
By April, mostly below normal to near normal rainfall conditions are likely in most areas of Luzon, while generally near normal rainfall conditions with patches of above-normal rainfall may prevail over Visayas and Mindanao.
From May to July, generally near normal rainfall conditions are expected across the country with some areas that may receive below normal rainfall in July.
Solis said the rainy season associated with the southwest monsoon, locally called “habagat,” is likely to start between the last week of May and mid-June.