The Puerto Princesa City Water District (PPCWD) plans to request the conduct of cloud seeding operations as a means to resolve the water crisis in the city caused by the El Niño phenomenon.
Jenn Rausa, acting information officer of the water district, said they have already consulted their plan with the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).
“Ngayon nagpaplano rin kami mag-cloud seeding, at once na makapag-cloud seeding kami, or maging effective ‘yon, malaking dagdag ‘yon sa supply natin. Naka-coordinate na kami sa PAGASA, nanggaling na rin sa kanila na ‘sige, i-try natin’, since ito yong first time may part na experimental siya,” Rausa said.
Rausa said they have recently recorded a drastic drop in the water flow rate of 81 cubic meters per hour or 10.8 percent from its average production capacity Tuesday morning.
It is the lowest flow rate since the Water Crisis Alert Level 1 has raised last month, Rausa said.
She said that in 2016, the water district recorded a 25-cubic meter flow despite the prevailing El Niño.
Even if the water flow rate continues to decrease, Rausa said they will not change the water rationing scheme it is implementing in the city.
The weather agency advised the PPCWD that a cloud seeding may not succeed in Palawan because of its shape where the length is bigger than the width, Rausa added.
Palawan is also “surrounded by water, ” she said, so the PAGASA thinks that the rain that may be produced from the cloud seeding will only fall to the sea instead of on land, she added.
“Magpapadala sila ng technical experts para pag-aralan ang water shed area, kasi sa baba nyan mga palayan, pag-aaralan ‘yan kung wala bang magiging effect,” she said.
Rausa said PAGASA will donate the salt needed for the cloud seeding operations.
The PPCWD contingency committee and PAGASA will hold a meeting on Wednesday to discuss the proposed cloud seeding.
“Umaasa na talaga kami na matuloy, medyo excited nga kami kahit paano syempre first time, makikita rin natin kung magiging effective siya. If ever na effective siya, kung sakali man na kailanganin pa natin mag-cloud seeding sa mga susunod na… sana naman hindi na pero malay lang natin at least meron na tayong history,” she said.