THE water level in Angat Dam is the lowest in history.
And if the rains won’t come, the dam that supplies water to Metro Manila and nearby provinces may dry up, escalating the water woes already being felt by thousands of households in the metropolis.
As of Sunday, the dam’s water level dipped to 157.56 meters, way below the critical level of 180 meters.
Already, Maynilad, which supplies the West Zone, has started water rationing to some barangays severely affected by the water shortage. The company had to implement rotating water schedules after dam officials reduced raw water supply to Maynilad and Manila Water by 30 percent.
At present, 117 barangays supplied by Maynilad are severely affected by the shortage. These barangays either have no supply or have water for only six hours a day. These areas include 22 barangays in Quezon City, 13 in Caloocan City, four each in Malabon and Valenzuela City, two in Las Piñas City, and one in Navotas City.
Herbert Consunji, Maynilad’s chief operating officer, said there will be no improvement in the water situation if the water level in Angat remains critical.
“We would like to assure our customers that we are doing everything we can and looking at every possible way to alleviate the effect of the 30 percent raw water supply reduction. We will be making representations with the concerned government agencies for additional water supply and we will also appeal to the DILG, DPWH and MMDA to assist in our leak repair drive,” he said.
Officials have said that it will take four strong typhoons to replenish Angat’s dwindling water.
Maynilad said it will adopt additional measures to help its customers cope with the problem. These include deploying more water tankers even outside Metro Manila, tapping firetrucks to assist in water rationing, sourcing treated water from the East Zone distribution network and installation of four more static water tanks.
Despite the woes felt by Maynilad customers, President Benigno Aquino said there is no water crisis.
He said officials have yet to submit documents to prove that there is a water crisis.
“The DPWH, DOTC, and DENR have not yet afforded me information that there is already a water crisis,” he said.
Joel dela Torre, Journal Group