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Las Auras Dam could provide Tecate with a three-month supply of water in case something happened to the Colorado River acqueduct, President Enrique Peña Nieto said Tuesday in inaugurating the reservoir. Officials said the dam, at the 2.5 kilometer mark on the Tecate-Mexicali highway, can hold 5 million cubic meters of water (4,053 acre-feet) and will benefit more than 64,000 people. (In California, a family of five might use half an acre-foot of water a year.)
Peña Nieto said he would be back in Baja California next month to inaugurate the April 4 Canal, built to replace irrigation infrastructure damaged in the Easter 2010 Mexicali earthquake. He said 280 kilometers (174 miles) of canals have been built at a cost of 2.5 billion pesos ($190 million).
In addition, the head of the National Water Commission (Conagua), David Korenfeld Federman, said the federal government was involved in the desalination plant planned for Ensenada and touted water infrastructure projects in the rest of the country, including:
• The 520-kilometer Monterrey acqueduct.
• An underwater acqueduct that reaches Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche.
• Improving service to the Guadalajara area.
• Expanding the Cutzamala system that serves central Mexico.
• The desalination plant built in Baja California Sur.
Under the format, there were questions from some in attendance. A woman named Claudia Ruiz said, "Before anything else, I want to thank God for this dam."
Another woman, María de Jesús Espinosa Quintana, said she was originally from Ensenada, and that when she came to Tecate 30 years ago, and went to the bus terminal and asked for the bathroom, she was given a bucket of water, apparently to use to flush the toilet. She asked the president not to forget Ensenada, which has been undergoing water rationing.
Gov. Francisco "Kiko" Vega also spoke, and repeated his campaign slogan, "Porque con Kiko Vega, la gente manda" (With Kiko Vega, the people give the orders.) Vega is a member of the National Action Party, while Peña Nieto is from the Institutional Revolutionary Party.
El Mexicano said the presdident made clear that Baja California will continue to pay the 16% value-added tax the rest of country does; many in the state protested on Tuesday the new law that raised the tax in Baja California, and some business and community leaders have been trying to get an injunction against the increase.
Photo from Mexico's presidential office. Peña Nieto is in the center; his wife, Angélica Rivera, is to the left of him; three persons to the left of him is Gov. Francisco Vega.
On Wednesday, March 26, Peña Nieto inaugurated the Alberto Andrés Alvarado Arámburo Dam in Comondú, Baja California Sur.
President Enrique Peña Nieto may inaugurate Las Auras Dam in Tecate on Tuesday, Frontera reported. The dam was built to provide Tecate with a reservoir for times when there is not enough Colorado River water for the state.
The paper said the dam cost 179 million pesos ($13.5 million) — 93 million from the Baja California government and 86 million from the federal government.
Afterward, the president was to fly to Comondú in Baja California Sur to inaugurate Las Higuerillas dam.
The paper said Peña Nieto might later inaugurate the April 4 Canal in Mexicali, built following the April 4, 2010, Easter Sunday earthquake that badly damaged the irrigation system in the area. Dec. 14, 2013 mention of canal.