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Harnessing Renewable Energy Sources for Pumping Water

By Engr. Jerson Pagador and Engr. Kriztian Renz Briol – September 17, 2012

The Water Resources Management Division (WRMD) advocates the harnessing of available renewable energy sources as environmental-friendly alternate prime movers for small-scale pump irrigation system under the High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP).

One of these is the hydraulic ram pump that uses the natural kinetic energy of flowing water from rivers or springs to lift water without the use of gas or electricity and allow the delivery of water to its point of use by gravity.

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Recently installed ram pump located at Brgy. Talandang,Tugbok District, Davao City

Since last year (2011) the WRMD has been implementing this ram pump irrigation system nationwide in collaboration with the prestigious 2011 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee, Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation, Inc. (AIDFI) headed by Mr. Auke Idzenga, a Dutch Marine Engineer based in Negros Occidental. According to Mr. Idzenga, AIDFI is a social enterprise that tackles the problem of rural poverty by designing, fabricating, and promoting environment-friendly technology which is accessible and income augmenting for the poor. Moreover, AIDFI does not only introduce machinery, but a whole "social package" which includes community consultation, training of village technicians, transfer of ownership of the water system to the community, and the organization of local water associations to manage the water generation and distribution system.

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Mr. Robert Vasquez Supervising Technician of AIDFI Installation Team (left), Engr. Kriztian Renz Briol of BSWM (2nd left), and the SSIP Focal Engineers came from different Regions posed during the site visit of actual installation of 2 units Ram Pump Irrigation System in Brgy. Talandang, Tugbok District, Davao City.

Under the 2011-2012 HVCDP funds, a total of 24 ram pumps are targeted. Of which 12 units are to be implemented by AIDFI through a Memorandum of Agreement with the BSWM. Majority of these projects are located in Mindanao. The recently installed ram pump is located in the Brgy. Talandang, Tugbok District, Davao City that is planted with variety of high value fruit trees such as mangosteen, durian, lanzones, and rambutan. It is envisioned that with the installation of ram pump irrigation system, sufficient supply of irrigation water for their crops throughout the growing season is available with less cost for operation and maintenance.

The system consists of water source, impounding structure, drive pipes, 2-unit (2” and 1.5”) series hydraulic ram pumps, delivery pipes and reservoir. The water from the spring is collected and channeled to the settling tank then delivered by 2” drive pipes down to the 2” and 1.5” ram pump with 6m vertical fall that creates pressure to push the water 84m and 75m uphill, respectively. This system has source flow rate of approximately equivalent to 350 lpm and the expected output is about 6,566 liters and 9,771 liters per day for 2” and 1.5” ram pump, respectively. The impounding structure, catchment tanks, two reservoir tanks with 5cum each capacity, steel pipes and HDPE pipes, two ram pumps and installation labor cost amount to about PhP500,000.00.

For CY 2013, the DA already approved the budget for another 15 units of ram pumps to be installed nationwide to improve and enhance the agricultural productivity of high value crops while sustaining the operation of small-scale irrigation system with almost zero cost.

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