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Crevillente Reservoir


Crevillente Channel flows downstream from the headwaters of the same name in the Segura Left Bank Distibution Canal, where this infrastructure crosses Rambla Salada or Abanilla. The flows that it transports are assigned to the Sexta Elevación de Riegos de Levante de la Margen Izquierda del Segura (Segura Left Bank Irrigation Community), in the heart of the Júcar basin, whose first inlet is located at the San Antonio Reservoir in the municipal district of Guardamar del Segura. In the general Preliminary Plan for the main pipelines and regulation works in the South-east of the Joint Exploitation of the Tagus-Segura, Phase I, approved on 1st April 1971, it had been planned that this Canal would end in a siphon 2.5 km long, to directly supply the headwaters of the irrigation areas mentioned, materialized with two 2-metre pipes with a total capacity of 11.4 m³/s. But the need for irrigation during 18 hours a day and the great demand made it necessary to consider the possibility of building a regulating reservoir at the Canal tail-end, near the siphon and in the region of the Barranco del Bosch, in order to store the difference between the incoming flow and that required for irrigation. The morphology of the land on which the reservoir was to be built, together with the associated volume, meant that the only solution possible was to close the natural course by means of a dam. The viability of this project depended on the geological-geotechnical report that had to be drawn up by the Public Works Geological Service (SGOPU).

Photo of Crevillente Reservoir

On 14th April 1971, the Technical Director of the Confederación Hidrográfica del Segura asked this Body for this document, who, in December 1972, issued the Geological Report on the Crevillente Reservoir (Municipal District of Crevillente, Alicante), which informed of the viability of building the above-mentioned reservoir by means of a dam of up to 45 m in height, at the point where the Barranco del Bosch crosses the N-330 Main Road. On 13th March 1973 the Directorate General for Hydraulic Works (DGOH) approved the drafting of the corresponding project.

The Project for the Crevillente (Alicante) Canal Regulating Reservoir was drawn up in September 1974 by the Confederación Hidrográfica del Segura engineer Mr. Alfonso Botía Pantoja, when the main pipeline and regulation works of the Joint Exploitation of the Tagus-Segura, in the Segura basin, were already underway and whose date of completion was due on 31st December 1974. The project considered two possible alternatives for the joint exploitation of the Crevillente Canal-Regulating Reservoir system. In Solution 1, which was the one that was finally chosen, Crevillente Canal would transport the instant flow by gravity to the canals of the irrigable area, and the surpluses would be diverted by pumping to the regulating reservoir created by the Crevillente dam. The height required for the dam was to be 55 m on foundations and the volume of the reservoir approximately 14 million cubic metres. In Solution 2, Crevillente Canal would flow by gravity into the regulating reservoir, where the daily differences between the supply and the demand, which would be supplied directly through the intake from the reservoir, were to be regulated. This different conception of the hydraulic system meant that the height of the dam would have been 29 m and the reservoir would have had a capacity of 1.5 million cubic metres.

Photo of Crevillente Reservoir

The project was approved by DGOH on 12th August 1977, for the purpose of public information. In the same DGOH report, the Confederación Hidrográfica del Segura was given orders to proceed with detaching the project for the diversion of the CN-330 road, so that it could be dealt with separately, as well as to introduce the recommendations and modifications put forward in the report of the Dam Surveillance Service in the dam project. But this project would not be definitive since, during the course of the construction of the dam, it was necessary to issue two Amended Projects and an Additional Project.

As a result of the previous procedure, Amended Project 02/79 of the Crevillente Canal Regulating Reservoir was issued, signed by Mr. Alfonso Botía Pantoja, which fully responded to the indications of the DGOH, separating the road project and negotiating it before the Roads Department, as well as incorporating all the amendments of the Dam Surveillance Service Report.

Photo of the view downstream from the dam
View downstream from the dam

The specified term for completion was 24 months starting from the date the document verifying readiness for construction was signed. On 4th May 1982, the chief engineer of the works gave a favourable report of the contractor’s proposal to change the dam cross-section from a rockfill dam with an impervious core to a graded aggregrate one, which involved building a greater dam volume and embankments, although the proposal would not entail any increase in the budget. The alleged cause was that the quarries in question could not provide sufficient volume of rockfill and so it would be necessary to turn to other ones further away, which would lead to an increment in the works’ budget. In order to avoid this, a proposal was made to modify the projected section, conserving the core, replacing the shoulder rockfill with graded aggregrate coming from the vicinity of the natural downstream boundary for the storage area, protected with rockfill and extending the downstream filters to the outside.

Photo of Crevillente Reservoir

On 6th June 1982, the DGOH authorized the drafting of Project 05/83 on “Amendment I of the Crevillente Canal Regulating Reservoir”, with an extension in the term of three months, in other words, until 31st December 1984. This project was approved on 24th January 1984. During the execution of the foundation excavation works it was discovered that the loams of the base were highly weathered, which meant that the depth excavated had to be increased, as well as the material required for refill.

In order to calculate the increase in the cost of the increase in the excavations, core, shoulders and concrete for lining the galleries, on 21st May 1984 the DGOH authorized the drafting of Project 09/84 on “Amendment II of the Crevillente Canal Regulating Reservoir”. This project was technically and definitively approved on 21st November 1984, and the term for its completion was extended six months.

Photo of the view of the spillway on the left abutment.
View of the spillway on the left abutment.

Project 07/85 on “Additional Work I of the Crevillente Regulating Reservoir” was also drafted with the purpose of carrying out various additional works to improve the functioning and exploitation of the Regulating Reservoir.

The works were completed in March 1986, in compliance with the term finally specified Their provisional acceptance was made on 15th July 1986 and their final acceptance on 22nd July 1987.

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