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Water conservation urged as La Mesa Dam reaches ‘too low’ level


By Philippine News Agency

Water at the La Mesa Dam is at below normal level, raising the need for water conservation among its custom­ers to help ensure the availability of reserve until the rainy season begins in early June.

The dam’s 6 a.m. water level on Saturday was only 72.19 meters, noted Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Adminis­tration (PAGASA) hydrologist Richard Orendain. “That water level is too low,” Orendain said.

He added that La Mesa’s water level around this time of the year is normally between 78 meters and 79 meters.

“Water conservation will help make a reserve there available over a longer period,” he said.

There’s a need to prolong the avail­ability of La Mesa’s reserve as the dry season is not over and the rainy sea­son generally begins between late May and early June, he explained.

Experts are recommending that repairing leaking pipes, reusing water, turning off the faucet while brushing, and mulching plants should be among the water conservation measures to be undertaken.

Orendain said that at present, La Mesa Dam has a 47-cubic-meter-per-second (cms) allocation of water from Angat Dam, its sole source.
Such allocation is higher than the 44 cms the government normally ear­marks for La Mesa Dam during the dry season, he noted.

La Mesa Dam’s reserve is still de­creasing due to the increasing popula­tion and water use in the facility’s ser­vice areas like Metro Manila, he said.

Orendain added that water pros­pects can be better if the dam has another source that would augment supply from Angat Dam.

He said water from Angat passes through the Ipo Dam then flows into the La Mesa Dam.

The Angat-Ipo-La Mesa water sys­tem supplies most of Metro Manila’s water.

The expected rainfall shortage during the dry season’s peak or during summer is also fueling urgency for con­serving La Mesa’s reserve, he said.

“If nothing’s done to conserve La Mesa’s reserve, water level there can dip to about 65 meters or 66 meters by April 2019’s end,” he said, adding that the projection is below La Mesa’s low­est 2018 water level of 70.16 meters on June 6 last year.

Earlier, PAGASA forecast below-normal rainfall this month and March in Metro Manila where the La Mesa Dam is located.

PAGASA also forecasts way-below normal rainfall in Metro Manila this April, one of the country’s hottest months.

Water use surges during the sum­mer months of April to May.

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