MANILA, Philippines - Cloud seeding operations finally began on Thursday over Angat Dam in Bulacan in an attempt to raise the dam's water level.
The Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) bought over a thousand sacks of salt, imported from China and Vietnam.
The BSWM hopes the salt will help trigger rains, which will hopefuly raise the water level in the dam.
Angat Dam is Metro Manila's main source of water.
The BSWM said it will conduct cloud seeding operations on a daily basis until its salt supply runs out.
Rains on Wednesday brought up the water level in Angat Dam from a historic low of 157 meters to 158.98 meters. But this is still below the normal level of 180 meters.
3 million affected by water lack
Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson said on Thursday that close to 3 million residents in Metro Manila are experiencing severe water shortage.
Singson made the disclosure after he was asked to comment on the statement of President Benigno Aquino's spokesman, Edwin Lacierda, that there is no water crisis.
The public works secretary said 2.9 million Maynilad customers in the west zone get water for only 6 hours every day.
He said that if the government will add Maynilad customers enjoying only 12 hours of water supply, the number of people affected by the water shortage in the west zone will reach 30-40% or 3.1 million to 3.6 million people.
Lacierda earlier said only 3% of the country is being affected by the water shortage.
Lacierda said "solutions are already in place" and the water shortage problem in the west zone of the metropolis is easy to solve.
He explained that Malacañang has been assured that the remaining water reserve in Angat Dam is still good for 60 days.
By that time or by September, he said, high volumes of rains are expected to fall that would bring the water level in Angat Dam back to normal. With reports from Zen Hernandez, ABS-CBN News