Cloud seeding pushed to ease water crisis PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 14 March 2015 11:49

The City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office will strongly endorse the plan of the Zamboanga City Water District (ZCWD) to resort to cloud seeding, a process of altering clouds to make rain, in a bid to help replenish the city’s diminishing water supply.

CDRRMO Officer-in-charge Elmeir Apolinario, Ph.D. yesterday met with representatives from the Zamboanga City Water District (ZCWD) and other concerned agencies to discuss contingency measures amidst the looming water crisis in the city.

During the meeting, Engr. Marli Acosta-De Fiesta, head of the ZCWD Engineering Division said while the water firm can still cope with the constantly decreasing water level at the Pasonanca intake, it is considering the idea of conducting cloud seeding missions and has initially coordinated with the Philippine Air Force and the Bureau of Soil and Water Management.

Apolinario said the cloud seeding proposal is very welcome and that he will strongly endorse the same to Mayor Beng Climaco so that the City Government can help facilitate the immediate conduct of the cloud seeding.

Cloud seeding, a form of weather modification, increases rainfall by dispersing iodized salt into the air that serves as cloud condensation, which alters the microphysical processes within the cloud.

De Fiesta said the City Government endorsement would have a huge impact as it will ensure the swift implementation of the plan.

City Agriculturist Diosdado Palacat, who has acted as cloud seeding focal person in the past years, suggested that seeding missions be conducted as soon as possible – between March and April and not in May.

He said the lack of rain during the months of February, March and April is a normal phenomenon as the same scenario happened in previous years. But he foresees bigger problems if and when  the dry season will continue until May and June.

The City Agriculturist is also expected to submit his report of initial damages  brought about by the dry season for the City Government to come up with measures to assist the affected farmers.

Meanwhile, the ZCWD representative said the water level at the Pasonanca intake is constantly decreasing which requires the imposition of the water rationing scheme.  Aside from the river source, the ZCWD is also relying on 21 production wells spread out in various areas and the barangay water systems.

De Fiesta assured that the ZCWD can still cope with the demand despite the decreasing supply but stressed that the water firm is looking into other contingency measures to ensure that all water concessionaires can avail of the commodity.

Apolinario said the meeting yesterday was purposely to ensure that the agencies concerned have contingency measures in place and to see what possible steps the city can undertake to help the concerned agencies.

Also present during the meeting at the City hall conference room were representatives from the Office of the City Mayor, City Administrator’s Office and City Environment and Natural Resources Office. — Sheila Covarrubias