MANILA — The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) remains optimistic despite the drop in water levels in major dams.

A hydrologist from Pagasa stated that there is no cause for alarm as the expected recovery period coincides with the arrival of rains in the middle of July.

According to Richard Orendain, the current water levels in the dams, particularly Angat Dam which supplies water to Metro Manila, are still within manageable limits. Monitoring records indicate that although the water level is currently at 182.86 meters as of 6 a.m. on June 29, which is 0.90 meters below the rule curve elevation of 181.96 meters, it is expected to remain above the critical level of 180 meters during this period.

Orendain emphasized that the normal high water level of the dams will be replenished once the rainy season begins in mid-July. However, he expressed the need for conservation measures due to the El Niño phenomenon. Both government agencies and consumers are urged to take proactive steps to conserve water resources.

The National Water Resources Board has already reduced the water allocation for Metro Manila from 52 cubic meters per second (CMS) to 50 CMS in preparation for potential dry spells and droughts caused by El Niño.

Orendain highlighted the importance of consumer participation in water conservation efforts, suggesting the wise use of water and its recycling for activities like laundry. Additionally, he urged water concessionaires such as Maynilad Water Services and Manila Water Company Inc. to intensify leak detection and repair efforts to minimize water wastage.

Pagasa warned that the El Niño phenomenon may persist until the first quarter of 2024, potentially leading to drought conditions in some areas of the country. Last month, the weather bureau had already cautioned about the possibility of below-normal rainfall during the period between June and July, attributed to the warmer sea surface temperatures in the Pacific associated with El Niño.