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Chile's public works ministry (MOP) is considering three options for the new Canelillo irrigation reservoir in central-north region IV, regional head of irrigation resources Erwin Olguín told BNamericas.
Prefeasibility studies indicate the reservoir could irrigate 15,000-16,000ha of land, with a storage capacity of up to 200Mm3, Olguín said in an email.
MOP's waterworks division has tendered a consultancy to carry out feasibility studies and define the best option for the project.
Work includes verifying demand projections, analyzing the availability of resources from the Choapa river basin and the feasibility of transferring water to the Quilimarí and Pupío valleys as well as determining required expropriations and defining their cost.
The consultant must also complete preliminary plans for the reservoir, complementary works and an irrigation canal network, and define an investment program for the reservoir that includes construction and operation.
The project also involves carrying out an environmental analysis, designing a public participation program and analyzing the possibility of providing resources for rural potable water (APR) systems in communities near the Choapa and Canela rivers.
MOP will receive and open bids for the consultancy on September 14, according to the tender document. The ministry plans to award the 365-day contract September 30.
The project is unlikely to get to the construction stage before 2014, Olguín said, as the feasibility study, designs and EIAs must be completed before construction is tendered.