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.
The NIC is an Agency of the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation under Hon. Dr. Horace Chang MP, Minister without Portfolio with responsibility for Water, Works and Housing.
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)|
|Beacon Little Park||3||3||–||27.83|
Sources of NIC’s irrigation water
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.