NIA Kalinga resumes irrigation delivery after 3 days of emergency shutdown

Irrigation water delivery finally resumed at Upper Chico River Irrigation System (UCRIS) in Tabuk City, Kalinga on March 16, 2021, 10 a.m., three days after the emergency shutdown. Photo courtesy of NIA Kalinga IMO
The NIA-Kalinga Irrigation Management Office commends the Cordilleran Binnadang or Innabuyog (communal unity) of iKalingas which led to the immediate resumption of irrigation water delivery at the Upper Chico River Irrigation System (UCRIS) in Tabuk City, Kalinga on March 16, 2021, three days after the emergency shutdown.

According to Engr. Leonardo Lamangen, Acting Division Manager of NIA-Kalinga IMO, on March 13, 2021 at around 1:00 p.m., the manhole of one of the three parallel UCRIS siphons built across the Chico River in FF Cruz, Bulanao, Tabuk City burst due to water pressure displacing its steel cover, and formed a huge fountain–like jet of water which would last for about 24 hours.

Immediately, the intake radial gate at the diversion intake as well siphon intakes were closed, while sluice gates and wasteways were opened to divert water towards the Chico River. NIA personnel together with UCRIS Tabuk and Pinukpuk Federation of Irrigators Associations had to sandbag on March 14 and 15, 2021 along the main canal to barricade water from flowing towards the siphon and divert it to the wasteway into the Chico River. 

Though the fountain–like movement of water at the siphon was pacified at around 3 p.m. of March 14, water was still coming out at the manhole due to the volume of water trapped along the 997-meter siphon barrel. It took more than 48 hours for the water at the siphon manhole to be fully drained even with the use of several water pumps.

Retrieval operations along the vast Chico River were also conducted for about two days in search of the missing manhole cover until it was recovered at around 4:45 p.m. of March 15.

While the steel plate manhole cover was finally installed in its place at 7:30 p.m. of March 15, more communal work was done early the next day to facilitate removal of sand bags and closing of wasteways and sluice gate.

At 10 a.m. of March 16, the intake radials gates and two siphon intakes were finally opened for the resumption of irrigation water delivery. At present, the total irrigated and planted area of UCRIS is 11,952 hectares, in which 8,585.50 hectares is under vegetative stage while 3,366.86 hectares is under reproductive stage.

Engr. Lamangen said that the concerted efforts of the NIA, BFP, IAs and other concerned private individuals in the draining of the manhole, retrieval of steel plate cover, sandbagging and other necessary activities have led to the immediate restoration of irrigation water delivery.

Just like other national irrigation systems in the country, an irrigation cut-off for UCRIS is scheduled May 1-30, 2021, during terminal drainage and harvesting, to make way for various maintenance and programmed repair/restoration activities along the system’s irrigation facilities.

Completed in 1986, UCRIS irrigates areas in Tabuk City and Pinukpuk, Kalinga, and Quezon and Mallig, Isabela

The manhole of one of the three siphon of UCRIS located along the Chico River in FF Cruz, Bulanao, Tabuk City burst on March 13, 2021 due to water pressure displacing its steel cover, and formed a huge fountain–like jet of water which led to a three-day emergency shutdown of the irrigation system. Photo courtesy of NIA Kalinga IMO

The manhole of one of the three siphon of UCRIS located along the Chico River in FF Cruz, Bulanao, Tabuk City burst on March 13, 2021 due to water pressure displacing its steel cover, and formed a huge fountain–like jet of water which led to a three-day emergency shutdown of the irrigation system. Photo courtesy of NIA Kalinga IMO

While the fountain-like spurt of water was pacified after about 24 hours, water was still coming out at the manhole due to the volume of water trapped along the 997-meter siphon barrel.

While the fountain-like spurt of water was pacified after about 24 hours, water was still coming out at the manhole due to the volume of water trapped along the 997-meter siphon barrel.

Concerted efforts of the NIA, BFP, IAs and other individuals were evident during the draining of the excess water at the 997-meter siphon barrel in preparation for the reinstallation of the displaced steel plate manhole cover, which was later found after two-day retrieval operation along the vast Chico River. Photo courtesy of NIA Kalinga IMO

Concerted efforts of the NIA, BFP, IAs and other individuals were evident during the draining of the excess water at the 997-meter siphon barrel in preparation for the reinstallation of the displaced steel plate manhole cover, which was later found after two-day retrieval operation along the vast Chico River. Photo courtesy of NIA Kalinga IMO

NIA personnel together with UCRIS Tabuk and Pinukpuk Federation of Irrigators Associations had to sandbag on March 14 and 15, 2021 along the main canal to barricade water from flowing towards the siphon and divert it to the wasteway into the Chico River.  Photo courtesy of NIA Kalinga IMO

IA personnel together with UCRIS Tabuk and Pinukpuk Federation of Irrigators Associations had to sandbag on March 14 and 15, 2021 along the main canal to barricade water from flowing towards the siphon and divert it to the wasteway into the Chico River.  Photo courtesy of NIA Kalinga IMO

Irrigation water delivery finally resumed at Upper Chico River Irrigation System (UCRIS) in Tabuk City, Kalinga on March 16, 2021, 10 a.m., three days after the emergency shutdown. Photo courtesy of NIA Kalinga IMO

Irrigation water delivery finally resumed at Upper Chico River Irrigation System (UCRIS) in Tabuk City, Kalinga on March 16, 2021, 10 a.m., three days after the emergency shutdown. Photo courtesy of NIA Kalinga IMO