NIA seeks ‘convergence initiative’ for sustainable water resource utilization

Iloilo City – The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) here appealed for the convergence of National Government Agencies (NGAs), Local Government Units (LGUs), and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) for sustainable water resource management vis-à-vis threats of Climate Change.  This was the battle cry of Regional Manager Gerardo P. Corsiga before the attendees of the recently concluded World Water Day celebration.

On March 30, 2016, government and non-government leaders, water management advocates, watershed experts, the academe and community workers gathered at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol for said event. Participants discoursed on supply and demand for water, water management and saving techniques; and their commitments to ensure water quality, quantity and sustainability in Iloilo.

‘Convergence initiative’ for sustainable water resource utilization was among the solutions seen by the NIA to ensure participation of various sectors of society in said endeavour.

“Iloilo’s unprecedented growth is not  immune from threats of a global enemy that is capable of crippling and discrediting our efforts in making this province progressive. We need to walk together to ensure that water will be available for all alongside our growth as a province,” expressed Manager Corsiga.

He further added that if theagriculture sector could not be resilient to Climate Change,  food security will be at risk hence there is a need for a collective effort to mitigate the impacts of erratic weather condition in the country.

As a response to the threats of Climate Change, Manager Corsiga disclosed to the participants that NIA has turned into sustainable and multi-purpose utilization of water resources. Water from rivers and creeks are utilized not solely for  irrigation but for other purposes such as    hydroelectric power generation and bulk   water supply for industrial and domestic use.

“The Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project Stage II (JRMP II) is an example of these dams we have at NIA that were designed to be Climate Change resilient. Its implementation will also involve convergence with other government agencies,” he cited.

JRMP II will construct the very first large-scale reservoir dam that will provide year-round irrigation to 31, 840 hectares of farm lots in the province of Iloilo. In addition to that , it will also generate 6.6 megawatts of hydroelectric power and bulk water supply for the city and the province. It will also mitigate flooding in Calinog and nearby towns, provide employment during construction and will usher eco-tourism in its covered areas.

JRMP II apart from the infrastructures that we will construct will also involve an Institutional Development Program and Watershed Management to ensure sustainability and multi-sectoral involvement.

“With the convergence of various government agencies, NGOs and other sectors of the community, we can make lasting and sustainable solutions to Climate Change and Water Resource Management,” he added. /JP Steve E. Cordero, PRO-C