CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan --The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) has assured that irrigation water supply to rice lands in Bulacan and some parts of Pampanga will last until May 15 this year.
Eliseo Bitangcol, press relations officer of NIA-Central Luzon, said for the current dry cropping season, NIA started releasing irrigation water to its service areas in Bulacan and Pampanga on January 9 this year and its cut-off is scheduled on May 15.
"No problem with irrigation water supply until rice crops are harvested based on the water allocation provided by the National Water Resources Board,” Bitangcol added.
The assurance was made after water supply for Metro Manila residents being serviced by Manila Water Company Inc. experienced water shortage.
The main source of Metro Manila’s potable water comes from Angat Dam and so is the main source for irrigation water of rice lands in Bulacan and some parts of Pampanga.
Operations of the Angat Dam are now under the supervision of K Water and San Miguel Corporation.
Rodolfo German, former plant manager of the Angat River Hydroelectric Power Plant (ARHEP), earlier explained that before Angat Dam was acquired by the Korean company K-Water and San Miguel Corporation, the first priority for the water supply coming from Angat Dam is for the water requirements for Metro Manila’s households, second, for the power generation of the National Power Corp., and third, for the irrigation supply of Bulacan farmlands and several parts of Pampanga.
If the water level at the dam reaches the critical 180-meter level, German said the irrigation supply to the Bulacan and some part of Pampanga’s farmlands is automatically cut off to preserve the dam’s water for distribution to the water concessionaires of MWSS.
Meanwhile, Maria Gloria Carillo, provincial agriculturist of Bulacan, said farmlands in the province have a total of 32,719.30 hectares of irrigated lands and 16,305 hectares rain-fed for a total of 48,754.30 hectares with an average rice yield of 4.43 metric ton per hectare.
"With an adequate irrigation water supply to Bulacan rice lands for the current dry cropping season, the province is expected to produce 144,946.499 metric tons of palay," Carillo added. (PNA)