This province doesn’t want rain
Water levels in dams are below normal and farmlands are parched since the El Nino started in February 2015.
So why is Iloilo refusing offers of cloud seeding?
BusinessWorld reported that the Provincial Agriculture Office of Iloilo said artificial rain would damage its summer crops which are already thriving in the heat.
“If the rain directly goes to our vegetables and summer fruits such as watermelon and mangoes, then we will have a problem. These crops do not need a lot of water and if we implement cloud seeding it could affect their production,” Dr. Ildefonso T. Toledo, head of PAO, was quoted as saying.
Watermelons are planted usually once the riverbeds dry up after the rainy season while mangoes peak production during summer.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) scheduled cloud seeding operations in the Western Visayas region on April 3-15.
Toledo said the weather bureau should ensure that the artificial rain falls in the watershed areas so that the water could be stored for later use.
However, engineer Oscar Tabada, PAGASA officer-in-charge for the Visayas, said Iloilo needs more catchment dams to fully benefit from cloud seeding.
Tabada asked the National Economic and Development Authority to look into the construction of more dams in the province.
He said the P11.2-billion Jalaur River Multipurpose Project Phase II in Calinog town, which is under construction, is not enough to store water produced by cloud seeding.