New dam will provide water to San Miguel

By Jade Arroyo

On October 9 the dam El Realito was officially inaugurated. This project will provide potable water to over 1.7 million people in Celaya, San Luis Potosí and San Miguel de Allende. The dam is located on the Santa María River channel, near the town of Santa María within the municipality of San Luis de la Paz. It has a capacity of 50 billion liters.

The state governor, Miguel Márquez, and the president of Mexico, Felipe Calderón, inaugurated this engineering work, and the federal government invested over 1.2 billion pesos in the project. The construction of this dam also brought economic, social and environmental benefits to the inhabitants of the region, such as jobs, in addition to providing another source of quality water. The project was considered to be one of the most successful recent endeavors in the country.

Guanjuato, and the Bajío regional in general, has always has suffered from drought and its damaging effects on agriculture and livestock, not to mention the lack of water for human consumption. Fernando Toranzo Fernández, governor of San Luis Potosí, proclaimed that El Realito dam opens the doors to the future for the two states, which have suffered from recent droughts.

This dam will help greatly to stabilize this area and ensure its water supply, reducing the amount of water extracted from the Valle de San Luis aquifers by one third, which will allow the underground water supply to become restored and help prevent the formation of sink holes.

Currently, the government of Guanajuato is reviewing plans to construct a 172-kilometer aqueduct to supply water throughout the state.

“Designing and undertaking regional projects are a key element to the development of a competitive and successful country,” said Calderón. He commented that this dam will go a long way toward supplying this vital liquid in the area.

Governor Márquez emphasized the fact that, by having this dam, Guanajuato and San Luis Potosí can move forward with development in both regions that will benefit everyone. “This work will transcend time and will jump-start development in this large area of the country. The Realito Dam will meet on a large scale the water needs of thousand of families and benefit the common good,” said Márquez. He thanked President Calderón for the infrastructure and support provided by the federal government.

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