Thursday, September 4, 2014

NIA: No more water release from Angat as of now

MANILA-With an above-normal water level at 17.28 meters and continuing heavy rains, the Bustos Dam will not need as of now additional water releases from the Angat Dam to sustain farming activities in Pampanga and Bulacan unless it will reach a 14.0-meter water level, Engr. Precioso Punzalan of NIA Region 3 said.

This current level is relatively higher compared to 14.80 meters more than a week ago when NIA requested doubling-up of water allocated for irrigation from the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) on August 23 due to lack of rain. An allocation of 42 cubic meters per second (cms) for 5 days and 21 cms thereafter until the end of August from the Angat Dam is sought to sustain irrigation needs of farmlands of about 14,751 hectares, that if not sustained with water will tantamount to production loss equivalent to P1.25B of farmers, in Region 3 for its wet cropping season.

But on August 25, NIA asked that water releases from Angat be stopped because Bustos Dam is already in its full capacity due to heavy rains. On August 29, Angat totally stopped the release of irrigation water.

As of August 15, the total irrigated area in Region 3 is 77,000 hectares. Out of the total area, 54,000 hectares is under Crop Monitoring – Vegetative Stage; 10,000 hectares under Crop Monitoring – Reproductive Stage; and 13,000 hectares under Land Soaking and Land Preparation. Since Bustos Dam is in its full capacity, and if heavy rains will continue, NIA is optimistic that it will not request more releases from Angat until harvest period.

Angat Dam, as of writing time, has a 182.69-meters water level – 2.69 meters above the dam’s Minimum Operating Water Level (MOWL) of 180 meters.

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