Cloud seeding eyed in Zamboanga City

Jewel Reyes, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 12 2019 11:08 PM

ZAMBOANGA CITY - A cloud seeding technician was sent to Zamboanga City on Tuesday to conduct a joint inspection headed by the Bureau of Soils and Water Management. 

Engineer Jocel Mendoza said the evaluation aims to locate “seedable” clouds in the area.

The team’s first stop was the Pasonanca watershed where majority of Zamboanga City residents still get their share of potable water.

"Hindi po mahirap na mag-develop ng clouds so meron tayong nakikitang na stratocumulus clouds, alto cumulus na puwedeng i-develop," Mendoza said.

This refers to clouds that may be sources of rainfall for the watershed.

Zamboanga City had limited water supply since January, with the city implementing a 6- to 8-hour water rationing beginning this week. 

The City Agriculture Office has pegged the damage in agricultural crops, as of Monday, to over 80 hectares, which is equivalent to more than P2.6 million in losses.

The Pasonanca water intake was way below critical level of 73.82 meters below sea level, compared to its normal flow of 74.20 meters. 

Task Force El Nino Chief Engineer Marlie De Fiesta said the Zamboanga City Water District is 55 percent short in water production and supply to residents, thus the shortened water rationing schedule.

The BSWM said other than the site evaluation of the watershed area, a trip to damaged agricultural lands will also be included in their report before the Department of Agriculture in Region 9 approves Zamboanga City’s requirements for a cloud seeding operation.

The Zamboanga City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office is optimistic that cloud seeding will be possible within the month, with a budget of between P4 to P5 million.