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PIA Press Release

NIA adopts measures to mitigate effects of El Nino

Tacloban City (February 1) -- In response to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s call to mitigate the ill effects of the looming El Nino phenomenom, National Irrigation Administration Administrator Carlos S. Salazar has instructed all Regional and Operations Managers to implement various strategies.

Among these are the adoption of water savings technology such as the Sustainable System of Irrigated Agriculture which features intermittent and lesser water application.

Another strategy is the Quick Turn Around scheme which encourages farmers to plant early maturing rice varieties to enable them to plant a third crop.

Also to be implemented is the re-use of drainage water; and finally, the adoption of rotation method of water delivery and distribution.

In order to make these strategies effective, Administrator Salazar called on the Regional and Operations Manager of NIA to closely coordinate with the Irrigators Associations, Local Government Units and other agencies involved in food production to muster their cooperation.

Administrator Salazar also disclosed that NIA has also programmed for CY 2010, distribution of Shallow Tube Wells (STW), and continue the rehabilitation and restoration of existing irrigation facilities and construction of on-going foreign and locally funded irrigation projects.

In order to make these strategies known to stakeholders especially the farmers, pamphlets/flyers are reproduced and distributed.

Meanwhile, in answer to the directive of Agriculture Secretary Arthur C. Yap, NIA is also closely monitoring the status of water supply particularly in the four major dams located in Luzon. These four major dams are the Magat Dam in Isabela, Pantabangan Dam in Nueva Ecija, San Roque Dam in Pangasinan, and Angat Dam in Bulacan.

Results of initial monitoring showed that the water level in the three major dams had decreased while Pantabangan is still above Operating Rule Curve Water Level (ORCWL).

The ORWCL is the level that shows the required amount of water to irrigate programmed areas for the dry season cropping. Except for Pantabangan, the negative sign (-) in the three major dams indicated that the usual programmed area to be irrigated cannot be sustained anymore, unless corresponding measures are adopted. (PIA 8) [top]

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