Cloud seeding eyed over Pantabangan Dam to restock water for irrigation
CABANATUAN CITY—A cloud seeding operation is being planned to boost the water reserve of the Pantabangan Dam in time for the next cropping season, an official of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) said on Thursday.
Rosalinda Bote, department manager of the NIA-Upper Pampanga River Integrated Irrigation System (Upriis), said they were only waiting for clearance from the Department of National Defense, which will provide the aircraft to start the operation. She said a plane from the Philippine Air Force’s weather group was already on standby at Fort Ramon Magsaysay in Nueva province.
“The cloud seeding will only augment the dam’s water reserve. We’re expecting an increase in the volume of rainfall until January,” Bote told the Inquirer.
She said they would start the irrigation for the dry cropping on Nov. 16.
As of 6 a.m. on Thursday, the dam’s elevation was at 201.71 meters above sea level (masl), way below its rule curb or ideal water elevation of 219.46 masl. It was a slight increase from the 201.55 masl elevation on Wednesday.
Based on the projected elevation of 205.27 masl by Nov. 30, the NIA-Upriis has programmed at least 109,642.48 hectares of farmland for irrigation during the next dry season from December to May.
The NIA-Upriis operates Pantabangan Dam and other smaller dams that irrigate farms in the provinces of Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Pampanga and Tarlac.
Bote said the agency has been augmenting and maximizing the use of the dam’s water by establishing solar-powered pump projects, tapping an alternate wetting and drying water management technology, and promoting diversified cropping systems. —ARMAND GALANG INQ
Cloud seeding raises Pantabangan Dam water level
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