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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

FEMA allocates $18.5 million for first phase of new reservoir, water treatment plant expansion


The new reservoir, which is to be located in Juncos and will be an asset of the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority, will have a capacity of 12.7 million cubic meters of water.


By THE STAR STAFF


The first phase for the construction of a new reservoir in the Valenciano River and the expansion of the Valenciano Water Treatment Plant has been approved at a cost of over $18.5 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) under its Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.


The new reservoir, to be located in the municipality of Juncos and an asset of the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA), will have a capacity of 12.7 million cubic meters of water.


Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia stated that the project authorized by FEMA responds to the impacts of climate change in order to have a resilient infrastructure for future weather events.


“We have worked hard to obtain the approval of funds for Phase 1 of this project,” the governor said. “The Valenciano Reservoir project is a priority for my administration because it promotes quality of life and health for the nearly 140,000 residents living in Humacao, Caguas, Juncos, San Lorenzo, Las Piedras and Gurabo, in addition to improving water storage capacity, which will benefit the surrounding towns. I want to thank President Biden’s administration, as well as FEMA staff, for working closely with our government to achieve the approval of such an important project.”


Once the first phase is completed, which includes the procurement of engineering services, preliminary engineering design, environmental compliance and permitting processes, planning for land acquisition and final design and construction documents, FEMA will consider additional funding for Phase 2 at a cost of over $399 million.


“Residents in the area will benefit from this mitigation work, especially during drought conditions, when the existing potable water supply systems cannot meet the water demand for the area,” Deputy Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator Andrés García said. “When the project is completed, it will offer enough water storage and pumping capacity to ensure a steady water supply for the area.”


PRASA Executive President Doriel Pagán Crespo said the efforts of her team and the close collaboration with FEMA and Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency have made the project a reality.


“The Valenciano Reservoir is another of our priority projects, which will provide redundancy and flexibility in the potable water systems of these six municipalities,” she said.

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