NWRB cuts water allocation for irrigation

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 3) — The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) has decided to cut the allocation for irrigation to 10 cubic meters per second before completely suspending it by May 10, a top official said Wednesday.

This number is down from the allocation of 30 cubic meters per second last month, according to NWRB executive director Sevillo David Jr.

David said the agency has decided to reduce the allocation as farms require lower water supply when nearing the harvesting season.

Pababa po siya kapag malapit na harvesting period like this month,” David said.

[Translation: Water requirement is less when the harvesting period is near, like this month.]

Normal water allocation would be provided in the next cropping season, which is scheduled to start by mid-June, he added.

During an interview with CNN Philippines’ Balitaan, David said the government is now looking at possible adjustments given the possible onset of El Niño. He said the NWRB would work closely with the National Irrigation Administration.

Late last month, the NWRB also urged the public to save water amid the looming El Niño.

On Tuesday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration raised the El Niño Alert status to 80% as it sees the weather phenomenon emerge starting June.

Last week, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signed an executive order creating the water management office under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

According to the executive order, the Water Resources Management Office will be responsible for “the integration and harmonization of all government efforts and regulatory activities to ensure availability and sustainable management of water resources in the whole country.”

All water-related agencies, including the NWRB, would be attached to the DENR.