Model of the new desalination plant. Model of the new plant in Baja California.

Construction begins on desalination plant

10-billion-peso facility will be the largest in Latin America

A groundbreaking ceremony yesterday initiated the construction of a desalination plant in Playas de Rosarito, Baja California. It will be the largest in Latin America.

The 10-billion-peso (US $540-million), privately-funded plant is expected to begin operating in three years’ time. In its first phase, scheduled for completion by the end of next year, it will produce 2.2 cubic meters of water per second.

Once the facility is fully operational, that output will double and be enough to supply 75% of the water currently provided by the Río Colorado-Tijuana aqueduct.

Governor Francisco Vega de Lamadrid explained that the plant’s water quality will comply with the highest standards.

He also said the water will only be for use within the state and will not be sold to the United States.

It sill supply agricultural needs and domestic water requirements in Rosarito and Tijuana, and could also serve to fulfill demand in Ensenada.

Baja California depends almost completely on the Río Colorado-Tijuana aqueduct to satisfy its water needs. With a carrying capacity of 5.3 cubic meters per second, the aqueduct is falling short in supplying water to the four coastal municipalities where 71% of the state’s population lives.

The Rosarito desalination plant is being built by a Mexican subsidiary of Cayman Islands-based Consolidated Water Co. Ltd, which will operate the facility for a period of 37 years, after which it will become property of the state.

Source: El Sol de Tijuana (sp)

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