Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point) sits on the Sea of Cortez, but in the middle of an extremely arid zone. It is currently supplied with fresh water pumped in from eight wells located 30 or so miles north of the city. The city is in the middle of a refurbishment process of the underground piping system delivering this water to the city, which will improve efficiency of the system. But in all likelihood, these wells will not be able to continue to fully supply the city as it keeps grow larger.
As I have written before, at least one private group in Puerto Peñasco has completed a major desalination facility to supply their projects and others have signed agreements to build them or are planning them for their developments. This will take some of the burden off the city water systems, but is still unlikely to be enough based on the growth expectations for the city over the next 20 years.
Therefore, over the past year, the city has begun to prepare for the day when it relies on the Sea of Cortez for its water. Numerous meetings have been held with top city officials, experts in the field of desalination and area developers to discuss the matter and make plans for a municipal desalination system.
The Mexican federal government has also been active behind the scenes working on the issue. Mexican President Felipe Calderon has promised $250 billion pesos in infrastructure improvements in Mexico during his six year term through a National Infrastructure Fund he is forming. And his administration is working to complete additional infrastructure improvements with various international partners, including the U.S.
The first substantive step for Puerto Peñasco's municipal desalination facility will be a comprehensive feasibility study, commissioned through a joint venture between the Mexican federal government and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.
Conducting a comprehensive feasibility study is a good first step towards building a municipal desalination system for Puerto Peñasco. It is also good to see the high level involvement of the Mexican federal government in the efforts to improve Puerto Peñasco, and their partnership with the U.S. in these efforts. It is expected that the Mexican federal and Sonoran state governments will continue to prioritize funding infrastructure improvements for Puerto Peñasco. And hopefully we will see a municipal desalination plant built within the next several years in Puerto Peñasco. Rocky Point is Puerto Penasco.