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Seawater desalination, a feasible water supply alternative in Mexico

  • Seawater desalination, feasible water supply alternative in Mexico
  • Aqualia exhibited its experience in desalination projects and its most innovative solutions to face water emergencies at the 2018 ANEAS Trade Fair last week, held in Mazatlán, State of Sinaloa (Mexico)
  • Over 8,000 people and top-level speakers attended the event, in which technical and management aspects were discussed, making the 22nd edition of the event the most important in the sector in Latin America.

About the entity

Aqualia is the water management company owned by the citizen services group FCC (51%) and by the Australian ethical fund IFM Investors (49%). Aqualia is Europe's fourth largest private water company in terms of population served.


The 2018 ANEAS Trade Fair and Conferences organised by the National Association of Water and Sewerage Companies of Mexico and main event of the sector in Latin America was held between 29 October and 2 November at Mazatlán, an important city of the State of Sinaloa.

Chaired by the Governor of the State of Sinaloa, Quirino Ordaz Coppel, 8,000 people and top-level speakers attended the event, discussing different topics, such as water governance, the latest technologies aligned with sustainability or the social management of water resources. Over 150 stands were exhibited at the exhibition space. These included Aqualia's stand, an information point covering 18 square metres, which was visited by the representatives of many different private companies and public bodies. 

Aqualia exhibited its experience in the desalination sector and members of the company gave a speech about the project, rolled out as a concession in the State of Sonora, Mexico: the Empalme-Guaymas desalination plant. René Roldán, Director of Concessions of Aqualia in Mexico, was responsible for organising the exhibition, giving a technical-financial presentation of the project under the slogan "desalination, a real alternative" and demonstrating a comparison of costs and rates of some water transfer projects (aqueducts) and equivalent drinking water supply projects based on the desalination of sea water. According to Roldán, this technology is starting to become a more and more alternative option, due to the systematic reduction of investment and operating costs (Capex and Opex).

After its construction, the Empalme-Guaymas desalination plant will generate 200 litres per second (17,280 m3/d) of drinking water and it will be the third biggest large-capacity plant in Mexico. In addition, this is the first PPP desalination plant project executed by Aqualia in the LATAM region and the third public-private collaboration project of the company in Mexico.

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