Vineyards in the Valle de Guadalupe will be getting more water. Vineyards in the Valle de Guadalupe will be getting more water.

Aqueduct will carry recycled water to Baja’s winemakers

Wine industry predicts greater production with more water for irrigation

Winemakers in the Valle de Guadalupe region of Baja California are betting on an innovative solution to their water shortage problem.

An Israeli company, Odis Asversa, will build an aqueduct between Tijuana and the well-known wine region to carry recycled wastewater to the area’s vineyards.

Although the company won a state government tendering process to complete the project — the first of its kind in Mexico — the winemakers will foot the US $1.5-billion bill.

The Valle de Guadalupe region currently has only one source of water — the Guadalupe aquifer, which is overexploited.

Odis Asversa, which has operated in Mexico for more than 25 years, predicts that it will be able to send 1,000 liters of high-quality water per second to Valle de Guadalupe, located in the municipality of Ensenada.

Company director Fabián Yáñez said that each wine producer will be responsible for building its own connection to the aqueduct system.

He also said that technology used by Odis will allow the quantity and quality of water transported in the aqueduct to be monitored in real time.

“We’re going to have online quality control 24/7. If the water meets the standard, it’s delivered to the winemakers. If it doesn’t . . . the water is immediately sent back,” Yáñez said.

Hans Backhoff Guerrero, a Baja California wine industry representative, told Milenio Televisión that the aim of the project is to provide winemakers with high-quality water that will allow them to increase their production.

Yáñez added that the aqueduct will guarantee water supply to winemakers in Valle de Guadalupe in the long term and help to save drinking water.

Winemakers are currently growing grapes on about 5,000 hectares of land in Baja California but once the aqueduct is in operation, Backhoff said, an additional 1,000 hectares could be supported.

The northern state is Mexico’s largest wine producer. Its wineries have won countless accolades at national and international wine competitions.

Source: Milenio (sp), Conacyt Prensa (sp) 

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