Press Release
July 19, 2010

Loren proposes measures to abate critical water levels
in Angat and San Roque Dams

Senator Loren Legarda today said she is filing a Senate resolution recommending remedial measures to prevent water stress aggravated by climate change such as what is alarmingly happening at Angat Dam whose waters continue to recede despite the rains brought by Typhoon Basyang forcing the Maynilad Water Services to cut its July supply by 30%.

"The Angat Dam supplies 97% of the domestic water needs in Metro-Manila and is also the source of irrigation for 27,000 hectares of agricultural land in Bulacan and Pampanga."

Legarda cited that, "The water level at the Angat Dam dippled to a critical 158.64 meters above sea level lower than the normal operating level of 210-212 meters above sea level with a maximum capacity of 215 meters above sea level."

"Experts have identified that the looming water crisis is the result of the combination of rapid population growth, the pollution and destruction of freshwater resources, and climate change that affects the hydrological cycle and consequently the water availability."

"Climate change will continue to adversely affect the country's watersheds, the forests and their biodiversity and agricultural lands dependent on irrigated water."

"The San Roque Dam's water level as of July 9, 2010 had dropped to 227 meters above sea level, lower than the normal operating level of 240-280 meters above sea level leaving no water for irrigation in the farmlands in Pangasinan and inadequate water for power generation. "

Legarda proposed pursuing and prioritizing a comprehensive watershed management program, the introduction of low water use crops, the recycling of water and the improvement of the monitoring and forecasting systems for floods and droughts, enhancement efforts for irrigation efficiency and a review of farming practices.

"The Senate Committee on Climate Change which I chair intends to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation on the threat of the dwindling water supply with the end in view of introducing necessary inputs to strengthen the adaptation in the water sector, " Legarda concluded.

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