Manila Water raises alarm bells on La Mesa dam water level


Water at the La Mesa Dam dips to its critical level as El Niño or the dry spell, triggered by the warming of the ocean, continues to intensify.

Manila Water, which gets its supply from La Mesa Dam, on Monday said the water elevation of the dam has dropped to 68.93 as of 6 a.m. on Monday. This is lower than the recorded 69.02 meter level on Sunday.

It added that the figure is at a critical level as most businesses and households in Metro Manila depend on the dam’s water supply.

Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) hydrologist Richard Orendain said the normal water level at La Mesa Dam is 79.30 to 79.60 meters while its normal high level is at 80.50 meters.

“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.

He also advised the public to conserve water to ensure that the dam’s water would be available for a longer period of time.

Jeric Sevilla, Manila Water head for corporate communications, said normal flow of water supply may be felt by residents beginning Tuesday as the agency’s technical teams continue to work on the improvement of its water supply system.

“Ang mangyari po noon hindi lang sa Mandaluyong, kung hindi para po sa lahat ng lugar. Gusto nating ibalanse ‘yung tubig po (This will be in all areas, not only in Mandaluyong. We want to balance the water supply),” he said.

On Sunday, Manila Water released an updated list of areas, which will have little to no water supply in the coming days.

The agency said the water supply interruptions are caused by the operational adjustments they have been conducting to address the continuous decline in the dam’s water level.

La Mesa Dam is part of the Angat-Ipo La Mesa System, which is the
leading source of water supply in Metro Manila. (PNA)