Rainfall in Sinaloa fills dams to 88% capacity

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Heavy rainfall in northwestern Mexico's Sinaloa state have brought 920M cu. m. of water to state dams, bringing levels to 87.6% of storage capacity, the national water commission (CNA) said.

Water stored in all of the dams throughout Sinaloa state comes to 13.2B cu. m., an all-time high.

High water availability will allow Sinaloa to end its 2004-2005 fall-winter agricultural cycle on a high note and enter the 2005-2006 season in full force, said CNA regional manager for the north Pacific, Alfredo Mora.

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After many years, the state can consider the possibility of planting in the spring-summer season and will also be able to reduce well water use for irrigation, saving on water from aquifers and on electric energy from pumps.

At the Huites dam alone, water authorities had to open up floodgates for the first time since dam construction in 1994 to relieve the dam of excess water storage, which peaked at 3.53B cu. m., or 121% of capacity.

Authorities opened the gates and turned turbines on to extract up to 2,000 cu. m/s. The excess water flowed downstream to the Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla dam, whose storage level is currently at 1.76B cu. m, or 60% of capacity.

Without these two dams, some 2.00B cu. m. of water would have flowed into the ocean, damaging crops and flooding towns along the way, the CNA said.