The primary role of the NIC is to provide irrigation services to the agricultural sector. Additionally, through our systems, water is made available to some industrial and commercial operations.
Our Corporate Vision and Mission
NIC’s main objectives are to manage, operate, maintain and expand existing and future irrigation schemes and systems, as may be established by the Government of Jamaica.
NIC obtains its authority from the Irrigation Act 1949, which makes provision for the utilisation of water available for the irrigation of special areas in Jamaica, and for the conservation and use of subterranean water for purposes incidental to or connected with that purpose.
Section 4 (1) of the Irrigation Act grants the portfolio Minister the power, subject to an affirmative resolution by the House of Representatives, to licence a company to be the Irrigation Authority. Such company shall be responsible for the implementation of the provisions of the Irrigation Act in relation to all irrigation and restricted areas for 10 years.
The Minister has periodically granted such authority to NIC, the last being 2011.
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 River area, that is:
- that portion of the Black River including the banks thereof, from the sea to Lacovia Bridge
- the Upper Morass area
- the Y. S. River area
- 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 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 company operates ten (10) irrigation schemes in five (5) irrigated areas prescribed by the Irrigation Act. The Chief Executive Officer, as the responsible and accountable officer, manages the day-to day-operations of the Agency.
The Divisions/Units of the NIC are:
- Commercial Operations
- Engineering and Technical Services
- Corporate & Legal Services
- Finance & Corporate Planning
- Management Information Systems
- Public Relations
- Internal Audit
- Project Unit
Section 5 of the Irrigation Act
Section 5 of the Irrigation Act stipulates the general duties of the NIC:
- To make such investigations and surveys and do such work as may be necessary for the preparation of and to prepare and submit to the Minister one or more provisional irrigation schemes in relation to an irrigation area.
- To do all such acts or things as may be necessary to be done to give effect to any confirmed irrigation scheme.
- To manage, control and operate, subject to any directions given by the Minister, any irrigation works established in an irrigation area under any confirmed irrigation scheme and the distribution of water under such scheme.
- To make such investigations to any matter affecting or relating to the irrigation of an irrigation area or any irrigation works therein as may be required by the Minister and if so required or without being so required if the Authority consider it expedient so to do to make recommendations to the Minister upon any such matter.
- To prepare and submit to the Minister for approval a reclamation scheme in relation to an irrigation area.
All rates and fees charged for irrigation water by the NIC, by virtue of its licence, are determined by the Office of Utilities Regulation acting on advice of the Commission and subject to the approval of the Minister.
Sources of NIC’s Irrigation Water