The Puerto Princesa City Water District (PPCWD) is preparing to launch cloud seeding operations in late March or early April in anticipation of another drought this coming summer.
Jeovanne Sacedon, the PPCWD senior corporate planning specialist, said Tuesday they have already started coordinating with their partner agencies, including the Philippine Air Force (PAF) for the operation intended to augment the water table around the Irawan watershed particularly its Campo Uno catchment.
“Based sa meeting ng contingency team ay talagang magre-resort tayo… baka late March o early April,” Sacedon said.
In a similar operation last year, the PPCWD said it spent around P2 million to conduct 37 cloud seeding sorties which it said achieved a high success rate.
Sacedon said their success rate in 2019 was 75 percent, which was higher than the national average of 65 percent.
Sacedon said they are hoping to concentrate their cloud seeding effort around the 3,000 hectare Campo Uno catchment, even as the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said there is no certainty it can be achieved.
“Hopefully, this year ay mame-meet pa rin natin ang success rate. I think ang update naman ay pinag-aaralan na nila ang weather outlook for the next months, para makikita kung anong best possible, the best period of the dry months na puwede,” he said.
While PPCWD officials consider the cloud seeding operations as financial losses, they said it was a necessary alternative to water rationing.
“From a purely business or economic aspect, lugi ‘yon, in fact, luging-lugi. Hindi ‘yon nababawi sa inulang tubig kaya lang let us put it this way — necessary expense ‘yan. I hope and I am sure na nagkaroon ng lunas kahit papaano ‘yong kakulangan sa tubig noong isang taon,” PPCWD board chair Atty. Winston Gonzales said.