The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) has approved the allocation of 46 cubic meters per second (CMS) to the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) for the month of May until the month of June. This is to ensure that water supply is available in performing preventive measures against the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) such as frequent handwashing and other hygiene, cleaning and disinfection activities.
In early March, NWRB increased the allocation for MWSS from 42 CMS to its current allocation of 46 CMS to sustain the anticipated high water demand in Metro Manila due to COVID-19.
The Board also initially allocated 15 CMS for irrigation of farmlands in the southern part of Bulacan in the month of June. This is to support the government’s program on food security which is equally important in sustaining the food requirement of our people under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
On water sufficiency, the NWRB assures that water in Angat dam is sustainable until the onset of rainy season in June. As of today (April 21, 2020), the level of Angat Dam is at 192.25 meters which is still 12.25 meters above the minimum operating level of 180 meters. It has to be noted that the current level is more than eight meters higher than the level of the dam on the same date last year. With PAGASA rainfall projection indicating near normal rainfall condition until September, the water level in Angat dam is projected not to reach below the minimum operating level of 180 meters despite the full allocation to MWSS and the releases for irrigation in its wet cropping season come June.
NWRB is coordinating with MWSS and NIA in sustaining their requirements and in providing steady supply for the public considering the importance of water against the negative effects of COVID-19. Along with the members of the Angat dam Technical Working Group, NWRB will closely monitor the situation of the dam for any significant changes in the projections which could affect future allocations.
NWRB reminds the public once again to responsibly use water for this is considered as one of the most vital frontline defenses against the COVID-19. Additionally, saving water from the demand side not only ensures sustainable water supply for domestic use in Metro Manila but also secures water for irrigation use in the Bulacan and Pampanga farmlands. Conserving water will also help in the recovery of Angat dam’s year-end water elevation to secure the supply for all water uses until early next year.