More dams seen to augment supply for C. Luzon farmers
CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan, Philippines — The go¬vernment should tap river systems in and around Bulacan to ease pressure on Angat Dam, which provides irrigation to the province’s farms, and potable water for heavily populated Metro Manila, Gov. Daniel Fernando said last week.
Fernando supported the proposed P3.6-billion Bayabas small reservoir irrigation pro¬ject, but urged the government to also tap other water bodies like the Candaba Swamp in Pampanga province.
“The swamp brings floods to our towns of Calumpit and Hagonoy. Why don’t we impound the water to supply water to farmers,”said Fernando during a meeting with 300 farmers, who sought more irrigation water for the planting season to begin by the third week of January.
Below normal level
The National Water Resour¬ces Board has been conserving water in Angat Dam, prioritizing Metro Manila’s drinking water supply because its reservoir has not yet returned to its normal high elevation of 212 meters above sea level.
About 27,000 hectares of farmland in 17 towns in Bulacan and four towns in Pampanga rely on Angat Dam.
On Saturday, the reservoir level was measured at 204.07 masl, higher than the 203.71 masl on Friday and 202.72 masl on Thursday.
Fernando said the proposal for the Bayabas Dam had been submitted to the National Economic and Development Authority. The project was designed to augment irrigation requirements during the dry season by tapping the Bayabas River in DoÃ±a Remedios Trinidad town.
The project will impound water in a 72.50-m high, 350-m long dam for 26,981 ha of farmland and is expected to supply 150 ha more to benefit 19,500 farmers.—Carmela Reyes-Estrope
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