FILE PHOTO: Angat Dam
QUEZON CITY, Philippines — The water supply for Metro Manila is expected to be in critical condition next year.
The National Water Resources Board said, Angat Dam’s water supply for Metro Manila is only good until 2017 due to the increasing population and demand.
This means, water allocation for Metro Manila will be reduced and frequent water interruptions may be implemented.
Water supply for irrigations will be affected and can cause significant impact on the agricultural sector
As of now, water supply in Metro Manila is sufficient because the reserve is full due to the two typhoons that entered the country last year.But because the capacity of Angat Dam is fixed, it cannot adjust to the growing population and demand in Metro Manila.
NWRB deputy executive director, Engr. Jorge Estioko said, “The needs of Metro Manila is growing, due to the expansion of service areas. It cannot sustain the future water needs of Metro Manila.”
The solution of the government is to build dams. These would be: Laiban Dam and Kaliwa-Kanan Dams in Gen. Nakar, Quezon Province. However, a dam takes 5 to 6 years to complete.
Indigenous groups and farmers in Quezon, oppose the building of dams; citing its potential hazard to nature and their source of income.
“Our livelihood is dependent on nature that is why we are opposing the project,” said former commissioner of National Commission on Indigenous People, Conchita Calzado. She added that reviving the dam initiative is “just the same as killing us.”
Efren Dela Cruz Mercado, a farmer leader from Prelature of Infanta, expressed his doubts on the efficiency of a dam as a solution. “We don’t believe that the dam will give us water in the summer, but instead it will just bring floods,” said Dela Cruz Mercado.
In the meantime, the NWRB will do its best to sustain the water supply of Metro Manila.
“We will regulate the release of water from Angat Dam. We will exert all efforts to sustain the requirements of Metro Manila. The conservation practice must be implemented,” said Engr. Estioko.
The NWRB said, there are no other ways but to lessen the allocation for Metro Manila by 20% come 2017 and to advise all consumers to conserve water. (UNTV News/MON JOCSON)