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. Services are provided primarily to agricultural and some industrial users in these regions as follows:
St. Catherine: Rio Cobre,St. Dorothy, Colbeck and Amity Hall;
St. Thomas: Yallahs, Yallahs IDB and Plantain Garden River
Clarendon: Mid-Clarendon and Ebony Park/Spring Plain;
St. Elizabeth: Hounslow and Pedro Plains (Beacon/Little Park); Black River Upper & Lower Morass (Drainage Area);
St. James: Seven Rivers;
The company operates ten irrigation schemes in five 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 and the Project Unit.
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.