Angat water level falls 2 meters below critical
Disaster control officials urged residents of Metro Manila to start conserving water and brace for the onslaught of summer.
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.
MANILA, Philippines—With the water level at the Angat Dam now 2 meters below critical level, government authorities on Friday dispatched cloud-seeding planes to induce rain over Metro Manila’s major water source.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said it would need up to three hours of continuous rain or almost 400 million drums of water to bring the dam’s water level above the critical mark of 180 m.
The Bureau of Soil and Water Management sent a cloud-seeding plane at 1:44 p.m. to seed the clouds with ice crystal-inducing compounds after its employees spotted large cumulus clouds forming over Bulacan and Pampanga, the dam’s watershed area.
Some rain was expected but authorities could not say how much would fall.
As of Friday morning, the water level in the Bulacan dam, the main source of water for Metro Manila and Central Luzon, was at 178.88 m, Pagasa hydrologist Richard Orendain said.
Less water for Metro
It fell by 13 centimeters from the day before, a less rapid rate than in the past days, as the dam management had reduced the water allocation to Metro Manila from 42 cubic meters per second (cms) to 36 cms.
Orendain, however, was quick to add that “the supply [to Metro Manila] is still the same, because there is still water in Ipo Dam,” a smaller subsidiary dam.
Some of the water in Angat Dam flows to Ipo Dam and then to La Mesa Dam in Quezon City, which provides 97 percent of Metro Manila’s water requirements, while the rest flows to Bustos Dam in Bulacan, which irrigates farmlands in Bulacan and Pampanga.
Orendain said it was the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System that determined how much water should be allocated to Metro Manila based on the water level in Ipo and La Mesa.
Still no rain
Orendain said the water level in Angat would continue dropping in the coming weeks, as “there was still no rain” in the watersheds of Bulacan and Pampanga flowing into the dam.
“In terms of drums, it will take 378 million drums of water for the water level in Angat Dam to return to normal,” he said. That would require 15 millimeters of rainfall on the entire watershed area or “about three straight hours of rain,” Orendain said.
But the hydrologist said rains in June or July in spite of the predicted onset of El Niño should help raise the elevation of Angat Dam.
“Probably by July, we’ll be seeing a rise in the water level, because when the rains come, it (the water) will saturate the soil first, and only when it is saturated will the water flow into the tributaries that lead to Angat,” Orendain said.
He said in an earlier interview that El Niño would peak in October and November; thus, rains, even though below average, were still expected in June to July.
Pagasa expects El Niño, a phenomenon marked by the warming of eastern and central Pacific waters, to affect the country in June, resulting in lower than average rainfall and stronger tropical cyclones.
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. From:water.amarillo