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Chiz wants national water transmission pipeline to mitigate El Niño

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Amid the effects of El Niño being felt in many parts of the country,
Senator Chiz Escudero proposed Thursday (Oct 1) the creation of a national transmission pipeline for water networks.

Escudero said the Philippines must develop water transmission pipelines that would link water sources in every region to water distribution networks.

“If we have the National Grid Corporation to link power plants for electric distribution, there should also be the same for water distribution in the country,” he said in a press statement.

He cited the case of Angat dam in Bulacan and Magat dam in Isabela, which are on extreme ends of their holding capacity.

He said the water level in Angat dam, which supplies 98 percent of Metro Manila’s potable water, is already critical because of decreased rainfall. The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) said the water level is at 189 meters, below its normal 210 meters.

At least 155 barangays serviced by the Manila Water Company are experiencing reduced water pressure due to the reservoir’s falling water level. The NWRB has also temporarily stopped the dam’s supply of water for irrigation of 23,000 hectares of farmland of Bulacan and Pampanga.

Magat dam, on the other hand, is approaching spilling level due to heavy rain, and residents are bracing for floods as the National Irrigation Administration has ordered the release of water.

“As it is, we are already feeling the effects of El Nino with the water shortages. This is going to be aggravated in the coming months, and who knows what climate change will bring in the coming years?,” Escudero said.

“We need to have a program on capturing and transporting water across the distribution system,” he added.

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