By Freddie Velez
CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan –BulacanGovernor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado has appealed to the national government to make use of excessive rainwater by creating mini-dams in Nueva Ecija and Candaba swamp as source of potable surface water and irrigation during the dry season.
Alvarado said Central Luzon has a lot of water during the rainy season but instead of saving the precious commodity in time for the dry season, the Bulacan dams release water to maintain the integrity of the reservoirs. The excess water, Alvarado explained flow into silted rivers that flood the 29 Bulacan towns, particularly Hagonoy and Calumpit.
Flooding can be lessened if dam protocols are properly observed and the discharge of dam waters is properly coordinated with the provincial government of Bulacan thru the PDRRMO, Alvarado said.
Should the El Nino season occur, the Angat-Umiray catch basin is capable of holding million cubics of water, which could supply and augment water needs of Angat Dam to assure and maintain agricultural farming needs, domestic and potable water requirement of Metro Manila residents.
Angat is the main water reservoir which flows into Ipo dam and empties into La Mesa dam where it is converted into potable water. On the west side, Angat water flows into Bustos dam which is used for irrigation.
Alvarado explained that if the Bayabasriver will be converted into a new dam it will be very useful, because, it could hold rain forest of the Sierra mountain ranges that help augment water needs of the Bulacan dams.
“If this will only be realized, an assurance of bountiful water supply in our dams will no longer be a regular problem, for we have a water source coming from the Angat-Umiray catch basin and in the Bayabasriver if it will be converted into a dam,” Alvarado said.
28 barangays underwater
Alvarado likewise appealed to the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) to allow its two concessionaires — Manila Water Company Inc. and Maynilad Water Service, Inc. — to jointly use La Mesa Dam as their reservoir to enable Ipo dam to release water during rainy season.
The governor said Mayniladis directly using Ipo Dam as their sub-reservoir thus keeping its water level at 100 meters or just one meter away from its spilling level of 101 meters.
“This is why Ipo Dam cannot make pre-emptive releases before a typhoon hit and are forced to discharge excess water into the Bustos Dam, which is obliged to release waters that causes flooding in the low lying areas in Calumpit and Hagonoy,” the governor claimed.
Twenty-eight barangays in Bulacan are affected by backfloods from the released of waters from the Bulacan dams affecting 21,889 families (97,902 individuals).