Puerto Rico

US approval means Puerto Rico can start first stage of US$418mn water reservoir

Bnamericas Published: Monday, January 30, 2023
US approval means Puerto Rico can start first stage of US$418mn water reservoir

A plan to build a US$418mn water reservoir in Puerto Rico is moving forward after the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved the first phase of construction at a cost of more than US$18.5mn. 

The FEMA approval is for the new reservoir on the Valenciano river and the expansion of the Valenciano water treatment plant and the funds will be provided from its Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), the agency said in a release. 

The new stream reservoir, with a projected water capacity of 12.7Mm3 (million cubic meters), will be located in Juncos municipality in the east of the island and it will be an asset of the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA). 

The first stage of works includes the procurement of engineering services, preliminary engineering design, environmental compliance and permitting processes, planning for land acquisition and final design and construction documents.

One that is completed FEMA will consider additional funding for Phase 2 at a cost of over US$399mn, it said. 

“We have worked hard to obtain the approval of funds for Phase 1 of this project. The Valenciano Reservoir project is a priority for my administration because it promotes quality of life and health for the nearly 140,000 residents living in Humacao, Caguas, Juncos, San Lorenzo, Las Piedras and Gurabo, in addition to improving water storage capacity, which will benefit the surrounding towns," Puerto Rico governor Pedro R. Pierluisi said.

“Residents in the area will benefit from this mitigation work, especially during drought conditions, when the existing potable water supply systems cannot meet the water demand for the area. When the project is completed, it will offer enough water storage and pumping capacity to ensure a steady water supply for the area,” said Deputy Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator Andrés García.

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