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Moratalla Reservoir

Background.

Overview:

As a result of the the catastrophic floods in the Murcia Region in October 1973, Tender Specifications for the drafting of the “General Flood Defense Plan in the Segura Basin”were issued. This document was drafted on November 24, 1974 and approved on December 9 of the same year.

The tender on technical assistance for the execution of the works was published in the Official State Gazette on January 10, 1975, and the contract was awarded to AHINCO S.A. by Ministerial Ordinance dated July 11, 1975. In May 1977, the aforementioned draft of the "General Flood Defense Plan in the Segura basin"(P.G.D.A.) was finished.

After the 1973 flood, during 1982, 1986 and 1987, more floods caused important overflows and damages in the Segura basin in general and, in particular, in the Moratalla river basin. This prompted the enactment of Royal Decree 1/1987, dated November 13, through which the necessary measures to recover the flood damages in the Autonomous Community of Valencia and in the Region of Murcia were adopted.

It must be pointed out that the Moratalla river basin, on July 25 and 26, 1986, had a maximum flow rate of 280 m³/s in its confluence with the Segura, continuing 37 km downstream, where the Judío watercourse emptied into it, and reaching a peak flow rate of 500 m³/s as it crossed through the town of Cieza, 4 km downstream from where the two rivers join (Segura-Rambla del Judío).

Rise upstream from the Moratalla dam
Rise upstream from the Moratalla dam.

The Moratalla Dam Project, approved by the General Directorate of Hydraulic Works on June 23, 1993, was publicly announced in the Official State Gazette of the Murcia Province on November 19, 1993, and the Environmental Impact Statement was issued by the General Directorate of Environmental Policy through a resolution dated April 24, 1995.

This project was the basis for the Resolution published by the General Directorate of Environmental Policy in the BOE nº 119, dated May 19, 1995, calling for tender for the dam works as part of the actions carried out by General Flood Defense Plan of the Segura basin.

The Construction Project was approved by a resolution issued by the General Directorate of Hydraulic Works and Water Quality on July 26, 1996, and the contract subscribed on May 20, 1999, with a deadline of 20 months from the day after the document verifying readiness for construction was subscribed, which took place on June 18, 1999.

Modified project:

On October 18, 2000, the General Directorate of Hydraulic Works and Water Quality of the Ministry of the Environment authorized the drafting of Modification Nº1 to the Works in the terms requested, and proceeded to the temporary suspension of the works.

The Temporary Suspension document was executed on November 7, 2000.

In compliance with the aforementioned Authorization, the “Modified Project Nº1 for the Moratalla dam, Moratalla municipality, MURCIA” was drafted in November 2000.

Finally, on May 19, 2000, the Moratalla dam was rated A according to potential risk which could arise from breakage or malfunction.

Dam crest
Dam crest.

Supplementary project:

Subsequently, on September 12, 2001, authorization was requested to draft the Moratalla Dam Supplementary Works Project Nº1, which involved works downstream from the dam.

In May 2004, the provisional completion of the dam works took place.

Spilling basin
Spilling basin.

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