Two big Mexico water projects set to make a splash this year

Bnamericas Published: Friday, January 27, 2023
Two big Mexico water projects set to make a splash this year

The Mexican government should expand its portfolio of water infrastructure works underway this year with two new projects to increase potable water availability for the populations in Durango and Querétaro states. 

The first involves the third aqueduct to serve the city of Querétaro (pictured) and the second entails the 3.5bn-peso (US$187mn) Tunal II dam, which is aimed at guaranteeing drinking water for the city of Durango, where current supplies have been found to be contaminated with arsenic and fluorine. 

On Wednesday, Querétaro state governor Mauricio Kuri updated the estimated cost of the aqueduct to 8bn pesos and said the head of water authority Conagua, Germán Martínez Santoyo, would visit the state on February 3 to negotiate permits for the new aqueduct. 

He also said the state is considering the scheme under which the works will be funded, which his administration his hoping to begin this year.

In November, Mexican engineering firm Cipro announced that it had been assigned the contract to carry out the executive designs for the project. In a statement, the company said it was tasked with designing “the construction of an intake, pumping plant, pipelines, special structures and the water treatment plant.” 

The firm's CEO, Manuel Salas, told BNamericas in November that the project "is planned to take 3m3/s of water to the Querétaro metropolitan area" and that “we will finish the executive project at the end of [2022]." He added that the state government planned to launch the tenders for the works at the beginning of this year. 

Durango dam

Meanwhile, the federal government included almost 400mn pesos in its 2023 federal spending budget to kick off the Durango damn project this year, only after lawmakers pushed for the initiative to move forward a few months ago. 

According to the original proposal, the works would be launched as a public-private partnership (PPP). 

Under the PPP, the dam’s curtain would be built 24km southeast of Durango on the El Tunal river to deliver 30Mm3/y (million cubic meters per year).  

The tender will include designing, constructing, expanding, equipping, operating and maintaining a series of complementary works adjacent to the dam curtain. 

Works will involve building a 2,700l/s water treatment plant, a 2,700l/s pumping plant, two aqueducts of 10km and 7km, and a pipe intake for extracting water from the Guadalupe Victoria reservoir.

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