May 15, 2024

Local government units (LGUs) especially in Metro Manila must strictly implement water conservation measures within their respective areas to help prevent supply interruptions even as dams continue to dry up due to prolonged dry spell caused by El Niño.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos made the call after reports indicated that the water level at Angat Dam, a vital water source for the National Capital Region, is continuing to drop due to El Niño.

Reports showed that Angat Dam’s water level is projected to hit its minimum operating level before this month ends, unless rains come earlier than expected.

As one of precautionary measures, water allocation for irrigation and household supply for NCR and the nearby provinces of Cavite, Rizal and Bulacan, will be reduced.

To address the looming problem, Abalos issued DILG Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 2024-065, and called on all local chief executives, including punong barangays, to conduct regular monitoring of water meters and immediately report leaks to concerned water service providers.

He said LGUs must see to it that all government offices have separate water meters to easily monitor water consumption and possible leaks.

Main building water pipe valves must be shut down from 7PM to 6AM, and building administrators must regularly check for leaks and faulty fixtures especially in toilets.

LGUs are also encouraged to promote and maximize rainwater harvesting in government facilities or water catchment systems in residential areas to collect and store water for cleaning and other non-potable uses.

“Lahat ay dapat kumilos at magtulungan para maiwasan ang water interruptions.� Maging masinop at matipid po tayo sa paggamit ng tubig,”�Abalos said.

He added LGUs are also expected to carry out extensive information, education and communication campaigns on water conservation measures to raise awareness and promote active participation among residents in conserving water.

LGUs were advised to utilize their local disaster risk reduction and management fund for the necessary expenditure to implement such activities.

At the same time, the DILG Secretary urged the public to store and re-use rinse and laundry water to clean floors, flush toilets, water the plants, and other activities.

The use of washcloth, “tabo”, and bucket instead of water hose to clean vehicles, and avoiding the use of inflatable/portable swimming pools are also advised.

Earlier, Malacañang issued Memorandum Circular 22, series of 2023, mandating all national government agencies and instrumentalities to strictly implement water conservation measures.

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