Buenos Aires Province land owners are benefiting from major drainage improvements
With an investment in new drainage works reaching the USD 1,200 billion, in the province of Buenos Aires, the fourth stage of the dredging of the Salado River basin is advancing to help landowners avoid historic flooding.
This stage comprises 220 kilometers that go between the Arroyo Las Flores and Bragado. It is considered by the government the most important link to the so-called Master Plan of the Salado River Extension Scheme.
The master plan, created during the government of Eduardo Duhalde, encompasses the widening and deepening of the riverbed and goes all the way from Samborombón Bay to the boundary of the province of Buenos Aires, in the West.
According to Pablo Bereciartua, secretary of infrastructure and water policy of the Ministry of the Interior, this is the largest-scale flood protection system in the country. The Government projects that will take about three more years to complete the fourth stage.
The basin formed by 17 million hectares, is
flat, so it does not have a natural drainage network.
At this point, there are three stages running that represent USD 100 million, dollars. “So far they have dredged more than four million cubic meters of soil.
The company awarded five kilometers from one of the 16 public tenders, is a temporary union of companies (UTE).
They take out 550 cubic meters of soil for each linear meter of the river they advance. This five-kilometer stretch, which goes from the Bridge of Carlos Beguerie to the Laguna de las Flores, thirty kilometers from Lobos, will take a little longer due to bad weather this winter.
How the dredging works
The dredger machines work 22 hours a day, with an average advance of 32
meters per day. They only stop for maintenance.
“Using sophisticated technology, they control the depths and the area to be drenched.
For safety and visual aesthetics, the area of the banks is made with diggers.
The manner to finance the works has changed. The cost comes from a water fund, which is financed from a fuel tax.
“Part of the work will be paid with the rest of the cost being deferred, so the government is going to pay in cash 50%, and the remainder will be paid with a dollar bond over four years, paying four percent. In the bidding, “said Bereciartua. He added that this allows “twice as much work to be completed than would be the case without financing.”
Source: La Nacion