15 July 2010

Keeping the bad news

Despite nationwide reports on the looming water crisis, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) maintains that the Angat Dam ‘is still manageable.’

Engineer Rodolfo German, manager of the dam, also agreed. He said the water supply would still be enough for one-and-a-half months.

But two days ago, the Angat Dam dropped to 157.70 meters—three metres lower than the dam’s critical level and the lowest since September 12, 1998, an El NiƱo year.

* * * *

I remember the television series 24 (Season 2). In there, United States President David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert) chose to conceal a nuclear bomb threat in Los Angeles. His decision endangered his position, but he preferred to believe Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) who concluded that it was a decoy.

That could likewise be the case. The close-to-critical-only warnings were meant to avoid panic. After all, this attitude has contributed to the death of 162 disco goers in March 18, 1996. It has also caused death to more or less 250 Muslims every year as they fulfill the fifth pillar in Islam. It has spelled doom to Charles T. Barney, president of the Knickerbocker Trust Company, when its board asked him to resign.

As of now, the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) together with the National Power Corporation (Napocor) and the Bureau of Soils and Water Management have been cloud seeding over the Angat Dam to tease its skies. Their effort, however, does not appeal to the weather forecasters who believe rain will pour but in August and September.

Maynilad Water Services Incorporated and Manila Water were also directed to implement mitigation measures so that the water supply of the dam will last. Currently, 33 cm of water only is allocated to Metro Manila. They would also have to review its supply condition every week.


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