Cuzco seeks peaceful solution to Majes-Siguas II dispute

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Peru's Cuzco regional government is seeking a "harmonic and respectful" solution to a dispute with Arequipa department officials who oppose a constitutional court's ruling to continue the Majes-Siguas II irrigation project.

On November 8, the court agreed with an appeal filed by the national government's council of ministers against the ruling to halt the project, and ordered a new technical study for the initiative.

The study will be carried out "as soon as possible" by national water authority ANA with participation from the Arequipa and Cuzco regional governments, which will define the project's deadlines, conditions and financing, state news agency Andina reported.

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Back in March, the Sicuani-Canchis court in Cuzco suspended the irrigation project on the grounds that it constitutes a threat to residents and the environment in the Apurímac river basin. Groups in Cuzco have also protested against the project, which they say will reduce the availability of water in Cuzco.

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 irrigation 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.