ILOILO – Water at the Jalaur Diversion Irrigation Dam in Barangay Moroboro, Dingle town has dropped to such a level that it could no longer provide water to its service area.
The facility has not been operating normally for several weeks already, according to Engineer Randy Alipis, acting division manager of the National Irrigation Administration Region 6’s Iloilo-Guimaras Irrigation Management Office.
The Jalaur Diversion Irrigation Dam was constructed in 1955 to harness the water of the Jalaur River for the benefit of some 11,000 farmers and 14,000 hectares of farmland in the municipalities of Dingle, Zarraga, Pototan, Barotac Nuevo, Dumangas, Anilao, and Banate.
“Twenty-four meters above sea level is the level of water needed for the dam to operate normally, and that is to deliver water to its service area,” said Alipis.
But for several weeks now, the dam’s water level is only at 19 meters above sea level.
“Indi na kita makapatubod sa aton mga irrigation canals and farmlands,” said Alipis.
For the gatekeeper of the dam, Venacio Pasco, the situation has become “critical.”
“Daw waay ka na makita nga tubig kay waay ulan,” said Pasco.
According to the state-run Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, a mild El Niño is affecting the country in the first quarter of this year.
While this may be bad news to farmers, NIA Region 6 has decided to utilize the opportunity to do some repairs to the Jalaur Diversion Irrigation Dam.
“Especially sa mga gates sang dam. Damo na mga ga-leak, so i-repair namon while there’s a lull in the dam’s operation,” said Alipis.
Meanwhile, the water level at the dam in the municipality of Maasin is also dropping gradually.
Maasin dam is Metro Iloilo Water District’s (MIWD) main source of water that is distributed in Iloilo City and the Iloilo provincial towns of Oton, Pavia, Santa Barbara, San Miguel, Leganes, Maasin, and Cabatuan.
The water level is still far from critical, according to Engineer Rolixto Jodieres Jr., Metro Iloilo Bulk Water Supply Corporation’s (MIB) chief operating officer.
MIB is the joint venture company between MIWD and Metro Pacific Water (MPW) to improve the water district’s service.
Jodieres said a prolonged dry spell could adversely affect the volume of water being delivered by MIWD to consumers./PN