President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Governor of Nuevo Leon Samuel García just inaugurated the El Cuchillo II Aqueduct. In its first stage, the aqueduct will supply 1,500 water L per second to the Monterrey metropolitan area.
The project of El Cuchillo II was created to address the water scarcity affecting Nuevo Leon since last year. It is set to benefit about 5.4 million inhabitants. Its construction involved a budget of MX$12.2 billion (US$715 million), of which MX$5,701 (US$332.9 million) came from the state and MX$6.5 billion (US$382.1 million) from the federal government.
The aqueduct was built in collaboration with ten Monterrey companies and its construction was supervised by the Ministry of National Defense (SEDENA). The latter was also in charge of project management, while the National Water Commission (CONAGUA) was in charge of its construction. Monterrey Water and Drainage Services is now in charge of the supervision of pipes, pumps and electromechanical equipment.
El Cuchillo II Aqueduct and the Libertad Dam will ensure that Nuevo Leon does not lack water for the next ten years, says García. The Libertad Dam was inaugurated in July 2023 and has a storage capacity of 307 million m3 L of water, making it the largest reservoir in Latin America.
German Martinez Santoyo, General Director, CONAGUA, informed that this project was built in one year and involved the construction of the 89.89km pressurized aqueduct, 16 structures for the control of transitory phenomena through tanks and five air chambers and five pumping plants. Each pipe has a diameter of 84 in and is 12m long.
Pumping Plant 0 will be 22m below ground,, so the aqueduct can use water from the reservoir, even at its minimum level, without installing floating pumps. There will be six pumps at each pumping plant; five will deliver water 93km from the El Cuchillo Dam intake to the San Roque Water Treatment Plant, where it will be treated for human use and consumption. The remaining pump will be a backup in case any of them fails.
The El Cuchillo II Aqueduct has a progress of 87.7% and will have a life expectancy of approximately 50 years. It will supply 5,000 water L per second to the metropolitan area when fully operational.