Mandate of Organisation

The primary role of the National Irrigation Commission Limited (NIC) is to provide irrigation services to the agricultural sector. In addition to irrigation, water is made available to some industrial and commercial operations through some of its systems.

NIC’s main functions are:

  • To manage, operate, maintain and expand existing and future irrigation schemes and systems as may be established by the Government of Jamaica;
  • To provide drainage services in the “Black Black River area”, that is a) that portion of the Black River including the banks thereof, from the sea to Lacovia Bridge; b) the Upper Morass area; c) the Y. S. River area; d) the areas described in the Additional Areas (Parish of St. Elizabeth) Reclamation Order, 1953, published in the Jamaica Gazette Supplement Proclamations, Rules and Regulations on the 26th day of January, 1953; and e) such other areas in the parish of St. Elizabeth as the Minister may, by order, specify for the purposes of Irrigation Act.
  • To fix and collect the rates or charges and to be paid for the use of such water.




Irrigation Areas and Schemes

NIC’s operations are divided into three regions – Eastern, Central and Western.

Eastern Region:  Yallahs, St. Thomas; St. Dorothy, Rio Cobre and Colbeck, St. Catherine

Central Region: Mid-Clarendon; New Forest/Duff House, Manchester

Western Region:  Braco, Trelawny; Hounslow and Beacon/Little Park, St. Elizabeth; Seven Rivers, St. James


The company operates ten irrigation schemes in five irrigated areas prescribed by the Irrigation Act. Its present infrastructure includes 73 pump stations, 207 canal networks and 194.24 kilometres of pressurized pipelines.

Irrigation Schemes Pump Stations Wells Canals Pipes (km)
Rio Cobre 18 22 26 31.01
St. Dorothy 8 7 28
Yallahs 3 3 15.21
Mid-Clarendon 32 32 153 36.10
New Forest 2 4 26
Hounslow 5 5 41.40
Beacon Little Park 3 3 27.83
Seven Rivers 1 2.96
Colbeck 1 1 5.13
Braco 1 1 8.60
Total 73 79 207 194.24


Sources of NIC’s irrigation water

  • Rivers
  • Wells
  • Mini-reservoirs
  • Dams


Quality of NIC’s water

The water provided by the NIC is non-potable (untreated). Persons are encouraged not to use it for domestic purposes.