Court halts Majes-Siguas II irrigation project

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Peruvian court in Cuzco has ordered the state and Arequipa regional government to suspend the Majes-Siguas II irrigation project on the grounds that it constitutes a threat to residents and the environment in the Apurímac river basin.

The ruling indicated the need to carry out further hydrological and environmental studies for the project, which had already come under fire from social groups claiming it would reduce the availability of water in Cuzco.

Arequipa governor Juan Manuel Guillén has said he will appeal against the ruling, and that for now the project will continue, according to local press reports.

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Consortium Angostura-Siguas has committed to investing over US$200mn in Majes-Siguas II. The group, formed of Spanish firm Cobra Instalaciones y Servicios and Peru's Cosapi, was awarded the concession in September last year.

The project envisions the irrigation of 38,500ha in Arequipa, Cuzco, Apurímac, Puno, Moquegua and Tacna regions. Works in this phase include the 1Bm3 Angostura dam, an 18km water transfer tunnel, a water intake and irrigation infrastructure.