Monday, January 23, 2017

Rains bring full capacity 
To major dams in Bohol 

Tagbilaran City, January 21,–Bane or boon, the heavy downpour which caused massive hassle in Bohol in the past days have filled Bohol’s major dams. 

When the excessive amount of water swelled rivers and creeks and submerged crops and recefields, it also managed to fill all four major irrigation reservoirs in Bohol. 

Already in their spilling levels, the water in Malinao Dam in Pilar, Bayongan Dam in San Miguel, Capayas Dam in Ubay and Zamora Dam in Talibon indicate a good start for a cropping year, according to National Irrigation Administration (NIA) 7 Regional Manager Engr. Modesto Membreve. 

In fact, Bayongan Dam in San Miguel, Bohol which has not seen so much water, spilled at about 3:00PM, January 16, and Engr Membreve was there on site to personally observe the situation, shared NIA-7 Information Officer Tony Alonzo. 

“I am observing the current situation closely to able to decide whatever action is necessary to make on this rainy condition, and use it to our advantage.” RM Membreve was quoted saying.

Although Bayongan Dam rarely reaches its spilling level, NIA Management is confident that it has held up well to its purpose and design since the start of its operation. 

Project critics have doubted the feasibility of the mega dam, but situation like this is one of the many justifications for this project, Alonzo pointed out.

Since the completion of the Bohol Irrigation Project Phase II in 2009, which was highlighted by the construction of the 35.50 meters high Bayongan Dam, it was only after three years, or in 2012, that the dam’s reservoir reached a spilling level.

At that time, it was also when RM Membreve still headed the management of NIA Region 7. 

Since then, there never was any time that the Bayongan Dam was able to stock up water close to a spilling level despite several typhoons and LPAs experienced by the province during that span, NIA sources said.

Five years later, and just six months after he reassumed the helm of the Irrigation Management of the region, the spilling occurred again.

“Although we rely mostly on rain to flood our reservoirs to full capacity, monitoring and management is still a critical aspect to maximize the water we may able store. Considering the complexity of the Bohol Integrated Irrigation System (BIIS) where Malinao, Bayongan and Capayas Dams are connected, anticipation and wise decision making is crucial,” Manager Membreve explained.

“I am grateful on the response of our field personnel who have been on the watch since the onset of this rainy condition we experienced. Otherwise, those heavy rains could have gone back to the rivers useless.” he added.

The fact that Bayongan Dam is full this early, this is an indicative that there will be a sufficient irrigation water supply for the rest of the year. 

The water can serve the 3720 hectares of operational area within Bayongan and Capayas Irrigation Systems, this could benefit approximately 5070 farmers, NIA said.

Malinao and Talibon Irrigation Systems on the other hand have a constant inflow from the rivers above their reservoirs adequate for their operation. (NIA)
NIA officials led by RM Membreve staked out at the Bayongan Dam to witness its second spilling since it was finished in 2009. NIA said they were there to be able to make decisions or lose the water to the river. (Foto: NIA/Tony Alonzo)

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