Sonora begins US$911mn water plan

Monday, April 12, 2010

The government of Mexico's northwestern Sonora state is set to begin work on an irrigation project in the Mayo Valley as part of its 11bn-peso (US$911mn) Sonora SI water program, a state government spokesperson told BNamericas.

The project will cost 90mn pesos, and involves repairs to irrigation channels throughout the valley's irrigation district, saving the area some 29Mm3/y of water, the spokesperson said.

The initiative is the first of 10 to be carried out under the Sonora SI program, which was given the go-ahead this week by state governor Guillermo Padrés Elías.

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The program also involves the construction of six new dams and reservoirs, new potable water treatment plants, and the implementation of a 250km potable water pipeline to transport water to state capital Hermosillo.

Also included is a desalination plant with the capacity to treat 400l/s, serving municipalities Guaymas, Empalme and San Carlos in a first phase, as well as Hermosillo in a later phase.

Sonora SI will largely be funded by the private sector through concession schemes, with contributions from the federal government through national water authority Conagua, and counterpart funding from the state and municipal governments.

Sonora currently uses around 6.58Bm3 of water each year, of which 2.30Bm3 is lost due to damaged infrastructure, according to the state government website.