April 14, 2024

The National Irrigation Administration continues to ramp measures to ensure sufficient water supply in areas covered by its irrigation system.

NIA-Cordillera Operations Section Chief Chrisanta Beray said while there is a decrease in the water level in the river systems where they source water, it is still sufficient to supply water for irrigation this dry season.

As per monitoring tayo ket talaga nga bimmaba ti volume ti danum idjay river nga isu met ti pangal-alaan mi iti source para kadagitoy irrigation system,” she said.

Beray said they also have inspected the vulnerable areas identified by the Philippine Rice Research Institute to determine the proper course of action to take to mitigate the effects of the weather phenomenon.

A total of 2,849 hectares of farmlands covered by the NIA are said to be vulnerable to El Niño. 

Kadakkelan ket iti Apayao nga ayan ti ad-adu ti proyekto ti NIA a posible a maapektaran,” Beray said.

She said even before the start of cropping season, the NIA together with the irrigators’ associations laid out an operation and maintenance plan to ensure the proper scheduling of water delivery to irrigation areas.

NIA has also installed 19 solar-powered irrigation pumps and constructed small irrigation projects in 2023, and is continuing the repair and restoration efforts on the irrigation systems.  

She added irrigators’ associations were also taught to adopt water-saving technologies such as alternate wetting and drying.

The agency, in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, also funded a watershed management program that was rolled out at the Upper Chico River Irrigation System and West Apayao Abulug Irrigation System areas which aims to plant more trees to increase water supply in the watershed areas.

NIA continues repair and restoration efforts on the irrigation systems.

It also encourages farmers to plant early-maturing crop varieties.

Based on the agroclimatic/crop condition assessment of Pagasa for January, all Cordillera provinces received inadequate amounts of rainfall to support rice and corn crops.

The three-month accumulated rainfall showed that most of the provinces experienced slightly drier than average conditions, except for some areas in Abra, Kalinga, and Mountain Province where significantly drier conditions were observed.

The Pagasa outlook also shows the whole region will be in a drought condition by the end of February. – Debbie E. Gasingan