Work to continue on Sonora's US$204mn Independencia pipeline

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mexico's Sonora state water authority CEA has made significant progress on the Independencia potable water pipeline and has no plans to halt the project, CEA's director of water infrastructure, Antonio Cruz, told BNamericas.

An eighth district court judge in Cajeme ruled in favor of a group of farmers and local residents who opposed the project, declaring the tender void and ordering work to be stopped, according to local press reports.

"What we are expecting is that in the appeal the government will win a favorable ruling, and with that in mind the project is absolutely not being stopped," Cruz said.

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Three similar injunctions have already been overruled after the state government appealed, the director added.

Consortium Exploraciones Mineras del Desierto, made up of 16 Sonora firms, began construction on February 28 after being awarded a contract in October last year. Some 3.5km of excavation work has been completed and 1km of pipeline has been installed, Cruz said.

The 2.44bn-peso (US$204mn) project involves building a pipeline to transport water over 150km from the El Novillo reservoir to state capital Hermosillo.

The city has insufficient potable water to provide 24-hour services, and this need continues to drive the project forward, according to Cruz.

"Hermosillo can't handle another summer like the one we are expecting," the official said.