THE Bago River Dam at Barangay Cansilayan in Murcia, Negros Occidental, which supplies water to the Bago River Irrigation System (BRIS), has enough water to cover remaining farms in the province already in their third cropping.
Engineer Lorena Sioco, head of the Irrigation Management Office of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) in Negros Occidental based in Bago City, said the current dam water level is more than 51 meters, slightly lower than its normal crest elevation of 52 meters.
Sioco said for the water level to be critical, the drop should be at least one to 1.5 meters.
“There have been drops in dam water level in the past weeks due to extreme heat, but it was filled by the recent intermittent rains in the province,” she added.
NIA-Negros Occidental records showed there are currently about 1,000 hectares of remaining rice farms that need water from the BRIS.
These area in the southern part, particularly in portions of Bago City, Pulupandan, Valladolid, La Carlota City, San Enrique and Pontevedra.
In the north, including Murcia, Bacolod City and other parts of Bago City, there is currently small demand of water as most farms are on flushing stage.
“Despite the impending drop, the dam can still supply enough water to the remaining areas in the south,” Sioco said, adding that even though the water level drops by one meter, the dam can still provide water for one rotation covering at least 4,000-hectare areas.
The BRIS, which covers about 460,000-hectare farms in the province, is regularly implementing a rotational distribution scheme wherein covered-farms in north and south portions have water every other week.
From the initial schedule of water cut-off on May 1, NIA along with irrigators’ associations covered by the BRIS approved a two-week rotation extension.
Thus, the north and south areas, including the remaining 1,000-hectare farms under third cropping will still have water until May 16, one month before the reopening of the irrigation on June 16.
Published in the SunStar Bacolod newspaper on May 05, 2017.
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