Jan 082011

According to press reports, construction is underway of the “Independence Aqueduct” which will carry water from the Plutarco Elías Calles reservoir on the Yaqui River, in southern Sonora, to Hermosillo, the state’s capital city. The reservoir is the 11th largest in Mexico with a capacity of 2,925 million cubic meters.

Javier Gándara Magaña, the mayor of Hermosillo (population 780,000), expects the 150-km-long aqueduct to be functioning by 2012 though he has warned residents that water brought from the reservoir (commonly known as El Novillo) will be more expensive than that from existing sources. City authorities plan to have installed water meters in every dwelling prior to the completion of the aqueduct.

novillo dam sonora

Curtain of El Novillo dam, Sonora

The aqueduct will supply 75 million cubic meters a year to the city, and represents a long-awaited, and long-term, solution to the water problems faced by Hermosillo, which is located in one of the driest regions of the country. At a later stage, the reservoir will also supply 500 million cubic meters a year to the municipality of Cajeme, in the northwest of the state.

Construction of the aqueduct is opposed by many members of the indigenous Yaqui communities and by agricultural producers farming the Yaqui Valley in the south of Sonora who claim that diverting water to Hermosillo will jeopardize the long-term water security for their operations.

Rivers, reservoirs and water-related issues are discussed in chapters 6 and 7 of Geo-Mexico: the geography and dynamics of modern Mexico. Ask your library to buy a copy of this handy reference guide to all aspects of Mexico’s geography today! Better yet, order your own copy…


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