Have you’ve ever wondered where your water is coming from? If so, then you’ve probably perused the internet for answers and came across an article or two telling you which is which and what is what. 

And in that random yet still meaningful quest, we’re certain that you’ve come across Angat Dam. After all, it’s one of the first water reservoirs ever to be constructed in the Philippines. 

On top of that, it’s also the main source of H20 for most of Metro Manila, the urban capital of Luzon island. 

If for some reason that piqued your interest, then scroll down below and learn more about it!

  • Background

Angat Dam came into actualization in 1967, however, its construction started way back in 1961. Though now finished, it was only able to operate fully the year after in 1968. 

The Philippine government shelled out Php 315.344 million for the construction of the raw water reservoir.  

  • Description

As Metro Manila and nearby provinces’ central water source, Angat Dam has big shoes to fill. As such, it was made with ‘size’ in mind. 

The concrete barrage towers 131 meters in total, impounding water from the Angat River to create Angat Lake. It’s located inside the Angat Watershed Forest Reserve in Barangay San Lorenzo, Norzagaray, Bulacan.

It has a normal high water level of 210 meters and is equipped with three spillways that release water below the river if levels go beyond. Due to its sheer expanse, it’s able to hold 850 million cubic meters of water within itself. 

  • Function

Angat Dam provides 98 percent of Metro Manila’s water requirements, which gets distributed by Manila Water (for the East Zone) and the Maynilad Water Services, Inc. (for the West Zone).

But besides supplying one of the country’s biggest metropolitan areas with potable water, Angat Dam doubles up as an energy source. Electricity is harnessed from the dam through hydroelectric technology. It’s able to produce a total of 246,000 kilowatts of electricity, which is used to power the Luzon grid. 

In addition, it serves as the primary irrigator of more than 28,000 hectares of farmland in Bulacan. 

It also prevents major flooding events from happening by controlling Angat River’s water from running wild and harming downstream communities and villages.

  • Present

Though Angat Dam is still functioning incredibly well despite it being 54 years old, there’s bound to be aches here and there—structure-wise. That’s why the government, through MWSS, has been implementing repairs and renovations on the reservoir. 

The most recent upgrade was accomplished in April of 2020. The project, called Angat Water Transmission Improvement Project (AWTIP), cost a total of Php 7 billion and focused on improving the dam’s reliability and water security. 

Because the population of Metro Manila has boomed since Angat Dam’s inception, it can no longer accommodate the water requirements of the citizens. For this reason, the government is looking at the creation of another reservoir, specifically the Kaliwa Dam.

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Image credit: Manila Water