The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has been monitoring a significant drop in the water level of La Mesa Dam in Quezon City since the start of 2018.
PAGASA hydrologist Danny Flores explained that the water level in La Mesa dam was still high in December 2018. However, the weather monitoring agency noticed a continuous ‘significant downtrend’ since January 2018.
While PAGASA monitored the continuous drop in the water level of La Mesa Dam, the agency did not have the authority to warn the public.
“Makikita natin sa graph natin napaka-significant, talagang matindi yung pagbaba niya kumpara nung nag-daang taon,” Flores said during DZRH’s ACS Balita.
“Wala kaming ma-gawa dito kasi ang rule namin dito, yung tubig kapag lumabas sa dam wa-warningan namin yung target area na maapektuhan ng tubig. Maliban doon wala,” Flores added
Flores further revealed that the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), which manages La Mesa Dam, knew of the continuous downtrend since they provided the data for PAGASA.
“Sila yung nag-operate ng La Mesa Dam at alam dapat nila ang nangyayari sa La Mesa Dam. Meron records sila, ang records namin dito galing sila,” Flores explained.
He also mentioned that water concessionaires Manila Water Company Inc. and Maynilad Water Services should have prepared for the water shortage since they also knew of the situation in La Mesa Dam.
The hydrologist added that National Water Resources Board Executive Director Dr. Sevillo David Jr. said that Angat Dam has been pumping water to La Mesa Dam in ‘full capacity’, and can no longer increase the allocation.
“Narinig lang namin sa kanyang mga pahayag na full capacity na yung binibigay nila, talagang iyon na iyon kasi wala ng ibang idadag doon kasi yung facility, daanan ng tubig iyon lang ang kakayanan,” Flores stressed.
Recently, Manila Water, which provides water services to the east zone of Metro Manila and Rizal province, announced interruptions to their water services due to the low water level in La Mesa Dam, which serves as the company back-up source of water.
Data from PAGASA showed that the water level in La Mesa Dam has dropped to 68.74 meters, it’s lowest in the last 21 years and below the critical level of 69 meters.