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Puerto Princesa City Water District (PPCWD) underscored the success of its cloud-seeding operation done to reduce the impact of the dry spell on the city’s water supply.
Jenn Rausa, Acting Spokesperson of PPCWD, reported during the to the City Council on Monday, June 10, that there were 28 successful flights out of 37 or 75.67% success rate according to the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM), who led the cloud-seeding operation.
“‘Yung success rate po ay 28 out of 37 sorties (flights) ‘yung successful so that is equivalent to 75.67%. So ito po ay galing sa report po ng Bureau of Soils and Water Management na sila po yung nag-spearhead ng ating operation [cloud-seeding], and ito po ay sa report nila and sabi po accordingly, ito pong level na ito, itong rate na ito ay mataas na po and hindi naman po itong masasabing bumagsak siya dahil kumpara po sa iba nilang operation ito po ay since this is the first time, makoconsider na po natin ito as successful na and ‘yung result po ay very satisfactory,” said Rausa in her report.
According to PPCWD’s report, during the extent of the cloud-seeding operation, they were able to deliver 490 bags of iodized salt which weighed around 25 kg each through 37 flights over Irawan Watershed area. Each sortie or flight was able to deliver 14 bags of salt and they were able to fly with an average of two to three flights a day.
Rausa also added that the operations were able to produce rainfall over Irawan Watershed area. “Masasabi po nating successful ‘yung operation (cloud seeding) dahil po naggegenerate naman po ‘yun ng light to moderate or moderate to heavy rains,” she added.
The rainfall induced by the cloud-seeding operation increased the water supplied by PPCWD from 29,000 cubic meters per day before the operation to 42,905.47 cubic meters per day during the cloud seeding operation.
“Noong April 26 to May 3, 2019 and that was before our cloud-seeding operation, ang ating pong overall production ay around 29,000 cubic meter per day nalang po. And then on the following weeks na nag-start na po ‘yung ating cloud-seeding operation and other continuous mitigation measures na isinagawa po natin nagkaroon po ng pag-increase sa atin pong production capacity ng both surface water and ground water. Para po noong last week po ng May, so dyan din po yung pinakahuling peak ng atin pong cloud seeding operation, ‘yung atin pong overall water supply status, ‘yung production capacity ay tumaas po ng from 29,000 cubic meter per day ay tumaas po ng 42,905.47 cubic meter per day na production,” the spokesperson reported.
There are four monitoring stations for the cloud-seeding operation which are located in Urko Hill, Solomon, West Coast and Old Airport. These stations will be the site for monitoring, assessment and operation.
“Meron tayong apat na, apat po na monitoring stations; ‘yan pong sa Urko Hill that is within our watershed area, Solomon po ‘yung papuntang Iwahig, West Coast naglagay din po tayo and sa Old Airport kung saan nandoon po ‘yung pinaka-main base natin,” Rausa explained.
The monitoring stations were able to measure the accumulated rainfall in the Irawan Watershed area.
“Sa Campo Uno meron tayong na-accumulate na 151 millimeter (of rainfall), Urko Hill po 167 (mm), sa atin pong Infiltration Gallery ay 51.30 (mm), sa taga-Old Station po ay 57.2 (mm) and ‘yan po ay for the whole operation natin from May 10 to June 6,” she added.
Rausa also explained that the measurement in the monitoring stations do not reflect the whole rainfall accumulation since rain sometimes fall on other places that also contributes to the water supply in the watershed.
“It should be noted po na ito pong mga nairecord natin dyan ay ‘yung meron lang po tayong rain gauge. Me’ron po tayong mga tributaries sa Irawan River especially upstream po na hindi na po natin, hindi na po tayo nakapaglagay ng rain gauge so hindi na po natin narecord ‘yun mga nahulog pong ulan doon po sa area na ‘yun … pero ‘yun naman po ay hindi nasayang dahil ‘yun po, since upstream siya ng Campo Uno, ‘yung bagsak po niya, ‘yung flow po niya ay papunta rin po, pababa rin po sa Campo Uno so magagamit din po natin,” the spokesperson added.
Last March 6, PPCWD formally declared Water Crisis Alert Level 2 due to the depletion of the water supply because of the dry spell in the city and was escalated to Alert Level 3 last April 10 and eventually to the declaration of State of Calamity of the city of Puerto Princesa.