Image credits: Samuel García on Twitter
News Article

New Infrastructure Plan in Nuevo Leon To Tackle Water Crisis

By María José Goytia | Thu, 08/18/2022 - 09:07

President López Obrador announced investments in water infrastructure to guarantee the water supply in Monterrey’s metropolitan area. The announcement occurred during his visit to Nuevo Leon amid the most severe water crisis the state has ever faced.

"We are here to find a way to solve the water supply problem for Monterrey’s metropolitan area. Technicians forecast there is enough water for the next 10 years without any problems," said the president.

During his tour, the president was accompanied by Samuel García, Governor of Nuevo Leon, General Luis Cresencio Sandoval, Minister of National Defense, Germán Martínez Santoyo, Director, the National Water Commission (CONAGUA), Juan Pablo de Botton, Undersecretary of Expenditures, the Ministry of Finance and Jorge Mendoza, Director, Banobras.

In early August, Adán Augusto López, Minister of the Interior, explained the action plan the federal government will implement to support Monterrey and its metropolitan area in overcoming the water shortage crisis resulting from the drought that is overwhelming Mexico's north.

Through the plan "Committed to the Water of Nuevo León," President López Obrador instructed that the El Cuchillo II aqueduct construction, a work halted for 19 years, will begin on Sep. 2. "With this, we will be able to provide, in nine months at the latest, 5,000 additional liters of water, so that during the next five, eight or ten years, we do not face another water shortage problem like the current one,” he said.

The new aqueduct runs parallel to the El Cuchillo 1 Aqueduct. It will have a diameter of 2.13m and a length of 100km, five pumping stations and a pumping load of 350m. Its approximate cost will be around MX$10.4 billion (US$522.8 million), financed by the federal and local governments in equal parts.

This project will double Monterrey’s water supply from 5,000 to 10,000L/s. Ninety percent of Nuevo Leon's population lives in the state capital’s urban area.

Martínez emphasized that the federal government has responded promptly to address the crisis. He also highlighted the development of medium- and long-term actions to overcome the water shortage, including the construction of the El Cuchillo II Aqueduct and the acceleration of work on the La Libertad dam.

During his tour, López Obrador also announced that the construction of the El Cuchillo II aqueduct will be considered a matter of “national security,” much like the government’s other priority infrastructure projects. This priority is justified by the urgency of supplying water to the population of the Monterrey metropolitan area, which for four months has been experiencing the worst water shortage crisis in its history.

The work will be carried out by the Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA). A mechanism will be created between the federal and state governments, together with industrial entrepreneurs, to accelerate the bidding process. This process is to begin at the end of August, with the goal set to complete the project in less than nine months.

"We are going to start the work next week. We consider this work a priority and urgent, so it will be declared a project concerning security. For the same reason, we will save much time in the bureaucratic procedures that often delay the works," said the president.

García emphasized that with López Obrador’s commitment, the new aqueduct will be possible and the new Libertad Dam a reality. "We continue working as a team so that there will be water for everyone. One of the actions of the plan to guarantee water until 2050 is the construction of the Cuchillo II pipeline, and after 26 years we are going to achieve it. "

Along with the construction of the new aqueduct and dam, the government of Nuevo Leon will also drill shallow and deep-water wells, as well as provide pressure modulation to provide a more equitable and secure supply of water resource.

The construction of the aqueduct will be put out to tender in September and is expected to be completed in nine months. Local companies will participate, although military engineers will oversee the project. To award the bids, a tripartite authorization mechanism will be applied. The three-part committee will be formed by Germán Martínez, representing the federal government, a representative of the government of Nuevo Leon and a third vote of the Chamber of the Transformation Industry (CAINTRA).

The work will be divided into 10 sections, so that 10 companies can participate simultaneously. Priority will be given to local Nuevo Leon companies. In addition, it is expected that all the steel required for the aqueduct will be contracted directly from companies in the state.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
Infobae, Milenio, El Financiero, El Universal, Expansión
María José Goytia María José Goytia Journalist and Industry Analyst