Pantabangan Dam water supply not enough to irrigate farms

By , on October 21, 2017


A view of the spillway and auxiliary dam of the Pantabangan Dam in the Philippines. (Photo by susancorpuz90, Flickr/CC BY 2.0)
A view of the spillway and auxiliary dam of the Pantabangan Dam in the Philippines. (Photo by susancorpuz90, Flickr/CC BY 2.0)

CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija — With current water elevation of 197 meters above sea level, Pantabangan Dam could not irrigate its 120,000 hectares service area this forthcoming dry season, a ranking irrigation official said Friday.

Engineer Florentine David, chief of the National Irrigation Administration-Upper Pampanga River Integrated Irrigation System (NIA-UPRIIS), said the agency may only supply irrigation to some 92,000 hectares in Nueva Ecija and portions of Bulacan, Pampanga and Tarlac.

The dry crop season starts on December 1.

“We are praying for more rains so that there would be additional areas that could be irrigated during the dry crop 2018,” David said, adding that the dam’s water level should have been around 213 meters above sea level by this time.

David begged off from disclosing areas that will be left out, saying they still have to meet with farmers’ groups next week to draw plans and priorities.

Aside from Pantabangan Dam, irrigation to ricefields is sourced from other tributaries, including Peñaranda River.