By Rjay Zuriaga Castor
The three dams of the Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project Stage II (JRMP II) in Calinog, Iloilo, are now complete, the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) announced on Tuesday.
The Jalaur High Dam, the impounding dam of the project, has finally attained its designed height of 109 meters or an elevation of 194 meters above sea level.
The final batch of concrete pouring at the high dam spillway bridge was carried out on Monday by NIA and the project’s Korean contractor, Daewoo Engineering and Construction.
The reservoir dam of the project is expected to store a volume of water estimated at 250.70 million cubic meters.
“With this development, all dams of JRMP II were already considerably completed and remaining activities at the dam sites include reservoir preparation, dam plugging, preparation of stilling basin, and electromechanical works for the operation phase, among many others,” the chief implementing agency of the project said in a statement.
The 10-meter Alibunan River Catch Dam was finished in December 2021, and the 38.5-meter Jalaur Afterbay Dam was completed in February this year.
Major remaining construction activities include the 81-kilometer high line canal, the main conveyance structure of JRMP II. As of July this year, its physical accomplishment was at 60.75% 49.05 km of the 80.736km designed length complete.
The construction of JRMP II is said to be completed by September 2024, but the mega dam’s full operation may start in late 2024 or early 2025.
The irrigation component is targeted to be mostly finished by June 2024 or no later than September 2024.
NIA-6 aims for the mega-dam to supply water to various areas of the province, including Iloilo City, by around late 2024 or early 2025.
Upon full operation, JRMP II is poised to provide irrigation to 31,840 hectares of farmland in Iloilo, generate 6.6 megawatts of hydroelectric power, and produce 86 million liters per day of bulk water supply for the province and city of Iloilo.
NIA-6 added that the JRMP II is projected to increase the annual production of rice in Iloilo to 300,000 metric tons from 140,000 metric tons and expand the production areas of sugarcane and other crops.
Former Ilonggo Senator Franklin Drilon, who visited the project earlier this October, said the JRMP II operationalization will make Iloilo an “exporting province.”
“Once the dam is completed and becomes fully functional from the present 100,040 metric tons of palay, it will increase to 300,000 metric tons per year. Therefore, we will not only be sufficient in terms of rice in the province, but we will be an exporting province,” he said.
The first phase of JRMP II was completed in the 1980s, but its second phase was derailed due to lack of funding. The second stage commenced in 2012.