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NWRB calls on public to conserve water as El Niño draws near

As the Philippines braces for the onset of the El Niño phenomenon, the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) asked the public to do its part in conserving the water supply.

NWRB Executive Director Sevillo David said the NWRB and other water-related agencies of the government were looking for water sources to prepare for the effects of El Niño later this year.

“Ano ang magagawa ng publiko sa sitwasyon natin? Tignan natin kung papaano makakatulong ang publiko,” David said.

(What can the public do given the situation? Let's see what the public can do to help.)

“Gusto natin i-advocate ang tamang paggamit [ng tubig]. Water conservation po,” he said.

(We want to advocate for the proper use of water. Water conservation please.)

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) on Saturday said they would likely issue an El Niño Alert in May, as the chances of the weather phenomenon taking place had increased.

The state weather bureau said that by July, August, and September, there was an 80% chance that El Niño would happen, and the dry spell starts in October, November, and December.

The full impact of the phenomenon will be experienced by January, February, March, and April.

The El Niño phenomenon was characterized by the abnormal warming of sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean and below-normal rainfall.

“Habang wala pa ang El Niño tignan na natin kung papaano tayo makakatulong para pagdating ng kasagsagan ng El Niño ay nakahanda tayo,” David said.

(Before El Niño comes, let's see how we can help. So that at the height of El Niño, we are ready.)

The NWRB official said the agency was also looking at ways to take advantage of the expected above-normal rains before El Niño’s onset.

“Tinitignan kung papaano maiipon, mako-conserve itong mga tubig-ulan na mapapakinabangan natin ngayong panahon ng tagtuyot at summer season,” David said.

(We are looking at ways to store and conserve the rainwater which we can use during the dry and summer season.)

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. had called for the creation of a team that would focus on mitigating the effects of the El Niño phenomenon.

Last month, PAGASA said the phenomenon was expected to start in June of this year. The weather bureau said the climate pattern in the country would remain neutral from March to June, but El Niño would begin thereafter. — DVM, GMA Integrated News