THE JALAUR KILLER MEGA-DAM
According to the Regional Officials of NIA in Iloilo City, the construction and eventual operation of the Jalaur Multi-Purpose Dam will boost Philippine sufficiency. This statement is of course expected from government officials concerned because the project will be a good source of kickbacks for them in various forms. Hereunder is a guide analysis of the basic realities of the project. The following narrations are worth mentioning:
1. Based on the records of the Master Plan on Water Resources Management in the Philippines (Phil-JICA, Aug. 1998), the potential irrigable land of Iloilo is about 75,160 hectares. The Jalaur Killer Mega-Dam proposes to serve only a maximum of 31,840 hectares.
Given these values, there is an apparent shortfall of more than 50%; therefore, the Jalaur Killer Mega-Dam is obviously not to boost but instead a limitation to Philippine rice sufficiency.
2. Based on the records of the same Master Plan on Water Resources Management (Aug. 1998), the water demand from the Jalaur River Basin towards year 2025 is projected to reach surface water coverage of at least 620 MCM and about 1,463 million cubic meters (MCM). The Jalaur Killer Mega-Dam is proposed to store water only of about 172 MCM, or less than 12% of requirements.
Given these values, there is an apparent deficit of some than 80%; therefore, the Jalaur Killer Mega-Dam is obviously not to boost but instead will be a limitation to Philippine water sufficiency towards year 2025.
3. Based on the records of the same Master Plan on Water Resources Management (Aug. 1998), the agricultural water demand for Iloilo is projected to reach about 1,808 MCM in year 2015 and 2,139 MCM in year 2025. The Jalaur Killer Mega-Dam is proposed to provide a maximum water supply of only 172 MCM.
Given these values, there is an apparent shortfall of water supply of about 91% towards year 2015 and 92% towards 2025; therefore, the Jalaur Killer Mega-Dam is obviously not to boost but to limit Philippine water supply sufficiency towards year 2015 and 2025.
4. The same Master Plan on Water Resources Management (Aug. 1998) has stressed that the development of “Small Impounding Dams” enjoined with the rehabilitation and improvement of existing service areas of the Jalaur River Basin to about 21,720 hectares suffices to meet the water demand after year 2020. This means that the concept of Jalaur Killer Mega-Dam is the least effective option, but the most expensive and therefore not recommended.
5. Based on the records of the same Master Plan on Water Resource Management (Aug. 1998), Iloilo has a total of about 79 million cubic meters (MCM)/year of groundwater. This is sufficient to meet the groundwater demands of Metro Iloilo beyond year 2025 which is only about 20 MCM/year. In comparison to the Jalaur Killer Mega-Dam, the deep-well development of exploitable groundwater for the Metro Iloilo Water Districts is considered strategic, cheaper, sustainable, environment-friendly and at lower maintenance cost. With these facts the Jalaur Killer Mega-Dam allegedly to generate bulk water supply for the Metro Iloilo Water Districts is unnecessary and irrelevant.
6. Iloilo is blessed with several water sources for irrigation. To cite few, these are:
· Jalaur-Suague River System
· Aganan-Sta. Barbara River System
· Barotac-Viejo River Systems
· Sibalom-Tigbauan River System
The above river systems when properly developed and well-managed have a potential irrigable area of about 60,000 hectares. Utilization of these river systems with the combination of national irrigation (NIS), communal irrigation system (CIS), small water impounding management/projects (SWIM/SWIP), diversion canal/dam, and shallow tube-wells are far better, cheaper, healthier and safer options than the Jalaur Killer Mega-Dam which can only provide for a ceiling of 31,840 hectares.
Given the above observations, therefore, the Jalaur Killer Mega-Dam is not to boost but is instead a limitation for Philippine rice sufficiency.
7. Coal-Fired Power Plant with a power generation of about 150MW is estimated to cost about 12 billion pesos (e.g. proposed Cadiz Coal-Fired Power Plant). The Jalaur Killer Mega-Dam which will cost the government 11.2 billion pesos is proposed to generate only 6.6MW.
Given this estimate, therefore the Jalaur Killer Mega-Dam is not to boost but again a limitation for Philippine power sufficiency.
AUGUSTO BOBOY SYJUCO, Ph.D. Petitioner Against the IloiloJalaur Killer Dam