The cost of hydric investment for Alicante province

Juan G. R. The cost of hydric investment for Alicante province.

Newspaper Information. Alicante , Spain , Pág.18, 9 / 12 / 2005.

The water demand in the province of Alicante is estimated at 310 hectometre cubic annually. The Ministry of Environment ensure that expected demand in the year 2008, through the Transfer Jucar -Vinalopo, construction of desalination installations, wastewater reuse, modernization and improvement of irrigation and water facilities. Established by the Ministry of Environment that: water flowing from the transfer, modernization and reuse will be used in irrigation, the towns of the coasts must base its urban supply on desalination, and desalination plant of Torrevieja ensures irrigation.

To achieve the goals set, Environment provides allocate 1130 million euros as follow:

Hydraulic Works Alicante


(Millions euros)

Resources contributed

(Hm3/ year)

Cost work  (Euros/m3 water )
Desalination plants 457 141 3.24
Jucar -VinalopoTransfer * 347 60 5.78
Modernization and improvements 169 12 14.08
Reuse of water 157 74 2.12
Total 1130 287 3.94

* Includes costs induced by the construction of the proposed transfer.

Starting as a premise indicators: public and private finance irrigation and waterworks in Spain, the cost of irrigation regions, irrigation with desalinated water, studies produced by different universities in relation to water prices, economic technical indicators of Ministries of Agriculture and Environment as well as personal experience in evaluating investment of irrigation systems and hydraulic projects in different regions and countries, together with elements of the indicators analyzed, have been given to me the opportunity to assess the proposed investments hydraulic planned to satisfy the water needs of the Alicante Province.

An analysis of the investment plan is noted that the Transfer Jucar-Vinalopo from Cullera to Villena has a construction cost of 5.78 euros/m3 which is considered high. When determining the costs of m3 of water transferred from the main indicators, the cost of m3 would be of 15 cents / m3, included the annual interest rate on the investment, the cost would be around 32 cents / m3, indicating that this work is expensive for irrigation, because you must make large investments in relation to the water volume that is guaranteed. This assessment combined with the study of the environmental impact that the new route crosses for a total of 157 archaeological sites, advised that the Ministry of Environment should make a new proposal to transfer and analyze more deeply, more economic technical indicators that would can affect the proposed new transfer.

The plan for modernizing and improving irrigation and infrastructure has a cost of works by 14 euros/m3, which is high, which indicates that the investments are very high to ensure delivery of very little water, so it is necessary to revise this topical and make recommendations to lower operating costs for each of the works to be performed.

The reuse of water is the most feasible of investment analysis, because they have a lower cost of works with an average of 2.12 euros/m3 and bring a water volume of 74 hectometre cubic / year.

The project index of the desalination plants is higher than the 2.7 euros/m3, indicating that within the group of desalination plants proposed by the Ministry, there are some that are close to this parameter and other very distant from the same, so should discussed in more detail each of the desalination plants so that the cost per m3 of desalinated water does not exceed the 65 cent/m3. The development of economic studies of effectiveness of investments for different water solutions discussed possible a proper choice of investments, while allowing lower the operating costs of the projects, which means that we will be more competitive in a globalize world.

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