Another round of cloud-seeding operations across Bohol, which is in on the verge of a state of calamity due to a dry spell, is set to be conducted within the month.
Assistant Provincial Agriculturist Larry Pamugas said on Friday that a P2.3 million budget has been allocated by the Department of Agriculture for the operations which are tentatively scheduled to start on October 16.
It will be the second bout of cloud seeding this year in the province which has been plagued by the El Niño phenomenon, causing diminished water supply for irrigation and household consumption.
Like the first round, 42 hours of intermittent operations will be carried out in the next weeks, said Pamugas.
Rains have started to be experienced across Bohol but Pamugas said that these have been sporadic and not enough to provide for the province’s water supply needs.
“Di kaigo sa gikinahilanglan,” said Pamugas.
According to Pamugas, water level at Bohol’s four major dams were “below normal.”
He said that water level further dropped recently compared to the status in the past weeks as reported by other agencies including the National Irrigation Administration (NIA).
Data from NIA issued earlier this month indicated that water level at the Malinao Dam in Pilar, Bohol’s largest irrigation system, has gone down to “near-critical.”
As of September 24, the dam water elevation was at 147.285 meters. Full level is measured at 152 meters while critical level is measured at 146.5 meters, NIA said.
The NIA also reported that farmers were able to plant in only 60 percent of the province’s 26-hectare area covered by irrigation systems.
Last week, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council led by Governor Arthur Yap proposed to have Bohol placed under a state of calamity.
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan which has the authority to place the province under a calamity status through a resolution however has yet to tackle the issue.
Meanwhile, the drought has already led to crop damage amounting to P179 million and has “directly and indirectly” affected 38 of the province’s 47 municipalities, Pamugas said earlier. (RT)