Cutting water allocation for irrigation happens yearly: NWRB

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 04 2023 02:43 PM

Farmers start to plant rice at a field in Barangay Simamla, Virac Catanduanes on November 7, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) on Thursday assured the public that temporarily cutting water allocation for farms happens annually and would not greatly impact crops.

Only 2,000 hectares of crops in Bulacan and Pampanga need irrigation for now, as most farmers will harvest soon, NWRB Executive Director Sevillo David, Jr. said. 

"Kaya mababa na rin ang kailangan nilang tubig at hindi na po kailangan iyong karamihan nito," he said in a public briefing. 

"Ang pagri-release ng tubig para sa irigasyon ay naaayon sa pangangailangan ng irrigation diversion requirement ng NIA (National Irrigation Administration) at sila po ang nagsa-submit sa atin ng schedule at gaano karaming tubig po ang kailangan nila." 

(They need less water now. The release of water is also based on the irrigation diversion requirement of NIA and they submit the schedule to us.)

Irrigation for these areas was slashed this month to 10 cubic meters per second (cms) from 30 cms, and would be completely cut off on May 10. 

David said they were coordinating with the NIA for the next cropping schedule, adding that water allocation could normalize by the middle of June. 

In an interview on Teleradyo earlier in the day, David said cutting down water allocation was part of NWRB's efforts to conserve water ahead of the impact of the El Niño phenomenon.

Meanwhile, he said the Angat Dam, a major water source in Metro Manila, was at normal operating levels at 194.4 meters.

Video from PTV