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“How shall freedom be defended? By arms when it is attacked by arms, by truth when it is attacked by lies, by faith when it is attacked by authoritarian dogma. Always, in the final act, by determination and faith.”

― Archibald MacLeish

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Metro Manilans:Angat Dam on Critical Level; Conserve H2O Now!

Disaster control officials urged residents of Metro Manila to start conserving water and brace for the onslaught of summer.
Conserve Water NOW!
Malolos City, Bulacan – “Kailangan natin ng ulan bago o hanggang sa kalagitnaan ng buwan ng Mayo (We need rain before – or by – the middle of May).”

Thus Raul Agustin, a senior officer at the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) that is monitoring the water elevation at Angat dam, said yesterday.

He said the present water level in the dam’s reservoir measured 188.9 meters as of 8 a.m. Thursday. He said the dam still has enough supply of water for three to four weeks before the water reaches the critical level of 180 meters.
Disaster control officials urged residents of Metro Manila to start conserving water and brace for the onslaught of summer.

“Matagal nang walang ulan, lalo na sa bahaging iyon ng watershed area, at kapag nagpatuloy ito baka hanggang kalagitnaan ng Mayo ay bumaba ng bumaba ang water level kapag hindi nagkaroon ng malakas na pag-ulan (It has been a long time since it rained, especially in that part of the watershed area, and if this continues until the middle of May, the water level may go down),” he said.

“Mahaba-haba pa ang tag-araw, kaya dapat ay magtipid tayo sa tubig (Summer still has a long way to go, so we should start conserving water),” he said.

Agustin also said that if the water level nears the critical level, cloud-seeding could be done over the dam’s watershed area.

“Ang problema lang sa cloud seeding ay hindi ito eksaktong tumatama sa reservoir kasi kadalasan ay tinatangay ng hangin ang mga ulap at doon sa ibang lugar bumabagsak ang ulan at hindi sa dam (The only problem with cloud seeding is the rain may not fall exactly on the reservoir because the wind may blow the cloud elsewhere),” Agustin explained.

Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy Alvarado has instructed the PDRRMO headed by Liz Mungcal to closely monitor the water level in the dam and also urged residents to conserve water.

Last week, officials of the Angat River Hydro-Electric Power Plant (ARHEPP) said they are decreasing the supply of water to Metro Manila because water in the dam reservoir is nearing the critical level of 180 meters.

The ARHEPP said that based on their records, the water supply in the dam is now 17 meters lower compared to that of last year.
The water level as recorded Friday last week was 189.99 meters. This is much lower compared to 207.38 meters recorded at this time last year.

Last January, the supply of water to Metro Manila was reduced from 46 cubic meters per second (cms) to 43 cms. This month, AHEPP officials said, they will lower it further to 41 cms.

This year, the highest water level in the dam reached only 211 meters, one meter short of the 212 meters that was expected.

The lowest water level ever in the Angat dam reservoir was 157.57 meters in June, 2010. From MB
Here are six simple ways you can help conserve water.

Tip 1: Turn off lawn irrigation. Only water distressed plants.

Tip 2: Did you know the average shower time is 10 minutes? Reduce your shower time by 50 percent to save water.

Tip 3: Turn off the sink faucet when brushing your teeth.

Tip 4: Turn off the shower when lathering up.

Tip 5: Flush the toilet only when really necessary. As the saying goes, "if it's yellow, let it mellow, if it's brown, flush it down."

Tip 6: Only wash full loads of dishes and clothes, not partial loads.

Conservation Tips

Reasons to Save Water
Only 1% of the entire water supply in the world is available for human and animal use.  Ninety-seven percent is salt water and the remaining two percent are in forms of ice caps or glaciers.  People all over the world use this 1% for agriculture, manufacturing, community and personal household needs, and for sanitation operations.

The water we use does not magically appear.  Water goes through a lengthy treatment process and travels through many miles of pipeline before it appears in our homes.  We actually only drink around 1% of all treated water, the rest goes on lawns, in washing machines, down the toilet, and through drains.  We pay for every drop, whether we use water wisely or waste it.  Conserving water is the most effective and environmentally sound way to protect our water supply.

If dry conditions and water usage continues at the current rate, we may be forced to implement a mandatory water conservation program.  

Remember, you are the key to conserving water and you can make a difference by taking simple steps each day.

Tips to Save Water
Cooking Tips: Don’t use running water to thaw food. Use only the necessary amount of water for cooking. Rinse produce in a pan of clear water, not under a running faucet
Match the washing machine setting to the actual load size. Wash dishes only when the washer is full or hand wash small loads.
Use the water meter to check for leaks. Turn off all taps, then observe the meter (about 10 minutes) for movement of the sweep hand or flow indicator.
Irrigate in the early morning (before 10 AM) or in the evening to avoid excessive evaporation. Avoid irrigating in windy weather. Hot, windy air can evaporate up to 60% of the water being used.
Take shorter showers – turn water off while shampooing or applying soap. Short showers consume about 1/2 the volume of a typical tub bath.
Install low volume – 1.28 gallons per flush (gpf) – toilets. This can save up to 30% of indoor water use. Install a displacement bag in older toilet tanks. Use a dye tablet (or food coloring) to check toilets for leaks.
Collect rainwater for inside and outside plants. Water plants with discarded aquarium water, or dropped/left over ice cubes. 
Turn water off while shaving or brushing teeth then turn on to rinse. 
Do not leave water running while washing hands.
Check all faucets for leaks.