Conagua to begin El Zapotillo mediation at end-May

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mexico's water authority Conagua is due to hold mediations between May 30 and June 3 with local authorities and opponents to Jalisco state's El Zapotillo dam project.

The meetings were originally planned to be held May 15-20, but were postponed due to conflicting agendas between the officials involved, Conagua said in a release.

Protests were held in many parts of Jalisco on Monday (May 23), with protestors alleging that an injunction protects the towns of Temacapulín and Acasico, which will be flooded to make way for the new reservoir.

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Protesters also temporarily halted construction at the work site in March this year, with the disruption reportedly costing millions of pesos.

The El Zapotillo dam and its corresponding water transfer system is expected to secure the supply of potable water for some 25 years to 400,000 people in 14 municipalities in the Los Altos region of the state, as well as cities León, Guanajuato and suburban Guadalajara.

Spanish construction firm FCC, in association with compatriot Grupo Hermes and Mexican firm La Peninsular, is building the 2.1bn-peso (US$176mn) dam and reservoir. A tender is currently underway for the El Zapotillo-León water transfer system.