The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) warned that a full-blown El Niño is expected to hit the Philippines this year. The unusually warming of the sea surface which started since November 2018 is developing in the tropical Pacific, prompting PAG-ASA to declare an El Niño Advisory stage across the country – calling all organizations and government agencies to ensure water security.
On February 20, 2019, PAG-ASA said that it already upgraded its El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Alert System. PAG-ASA further explained that ENSO is a naturally occurring phenomenon of the climate system resulting from the interaction between the ocean and atmosphere in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific while El Niño is the warm phase of ENSO which occurs every 2 to 7 years and lasts for 8 to 12 months.
With this looming threat, the Metropolitan Naga Water District (MNWD) assures the public that a contingency plan is in place in anticipation of the extended and severe dry spell.
In his recent interview, Engr. Virgilio B. Luansing I, General Manager A, said that the MNWD ensures all mechanisms needed in the water supply system are enabled both in manpower and equipment. In case of a full-blown El Niño, operation in the pumping stations shall be extended in order to maintain adequate water supply. This also includes continues monitoring and maintenance of pump and motors, generators, and other equipment necessary to guarantee sustained operation of pumping stations.
Further, Engr. Luansing I, enjoins the public to conserve and recycle water especially now that weak El Niño has been observed as early as February. Overcoming this phenomenon cannot be achieved solely by the water sector hence, the call to put more value and attention to the use of water. (Auria S. Gonzales)