Irrigation benefits trickle through
In response to the economic challenges faced by some rural communities, this project is expected to provide a much needed boost for farmers in Castilla y Léon through the construction of a 30 km irrigation channel.
In total, some 39 600 hectares will be better serviced for irrigation needs, resulting in both greater income potential and major water savings for locals.
Intelligent use of water
The project involves the second phase of an irrigation channel construction and modernisation process. The works to be undertaken cover all the remaining work on the main canal from the first phase, including the three regulating reservoirs that are needed for the corresponding irrigation inlets, thus ensuring that once operational the infrastructure functions as planned.
In and around the dam area, the work will include the development of a recreation area in Sahechores, a dam walkway (including two 25-metre footbridges and one 100-metre footbridge over the River Esla), a wall built on the right bank, a bridge crane, control mechanisms for the fishway (sluice, sonic barrier and fish counter) and a control building.
Along the canal itself, the canal service road will be upgraded with new asphalt laid and signposts and safety barriers put up, all in an effort to improve safety. New farm road overpasses will be built, along with longitudinal drainage and ditch works carried out at the top of the slope. The canal and its surroundings will furthermore benefit through the environmental restoration work planned. Improvements will also be made at points where the canal crosses the famous ‘Camino de Santiago’ walk. In terms of controlling water, the hydraulic control system will be enhanced with the automation of sluices on the diversion dam and the construction of special weirs and a modern volume control system at different points along the canal route.
Abundance of economic and environmental gains
Annual water savings are forecast to be 217 millions cubic metres, equivalent to the amount of drinking water supply required for a city of 2 400 000 inhabitants. The project will also yield benefits in terms of farming incomes, particularly important in this economically depressed area offering very few viable alternatives to local communities. During the works phase, 25 direct jobs will be created (for an average period of 12 months), a further three (lasting 3 years) once the system is up and running.