San Roque dam to halt power production — farmlands affected

Published July 16, 2021, 11:35 PM

by Ahikam Pasion

DAGUPAN CITY, Pangasinan — The San Roque Power Corporation (SRPC) will halt its power production starting Saturday, July 17, as the San Roque dam reservoir hits severely low levels.

This was confirmed by Engineer Cipriano Yabut, Chief of the Agno-Sinocalan and San Fabian River Irrigation System (RIS) of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA).

Yabut confirmed the dam’s suspension of operation on Friday afternoon, July 16, as the dam reached 225.6 meters above sea level (masl). The San Roque Dam’s normal high water level is at 280 masl.

He said the the SRPC will halt its power production operation indefinitely until the water supply goes back up.

While the dam could resume its operations once the water level goes up to 226 masl, Yabut said the SRPC would standby until the water level reaches acceptable levels which could enable them to operate continuously.

“Kahit umulan po nang malakas, at malampasan na yung 226 [water level], iipunin muna ng dam ang tubig para tuluy-tuloy ang operation nito”, said Yabut.

On normal water levels, the San Roque Dam produces 115 MW of power over eight hours of operation.

The SRPC’s pause in operations would affect around 32,500 hectares of farmlands along 14 towns and cities in the province of Pangasinan, as it would also cut off NIA’s water supply for irrigation.

The dam’s closure, according to Yabut, is necessary, as turbines would be destroyed if the water is continued to be released at such a low rate.

“Dahil mababa yung water levels, kailangang isara ng dam yung daanan ng tubig”, said Yabut.

The San Roque Dam also irrigates farm lands spread across the towns of San Manuel, Asingan, Villasis, Laoac, Binalonan, Manaoag, Sta. Barbara, Malasiqui, Mapandan, Natividad, San Nicolas, San Quintin, and Sta. Maria, plus the City of Urdaneta.