A Colombian government agency launched an Ellicott Series 1870 Dragon® Dredge this month near Fúquene Lake in the Cundinamarca region, not far from the capital city of Bogota. Fúquene Lake is approximately 8,200 ft (2,500 m) above sea level and is nearly 12 square miles (31 km²) and surrounded by agricultural land.
During the last 100 years, the lake has lost approximately 75% of its surface area and capacity due to hydrological and agricultural mismanagement and pollution. Several unsuccessful attempts were made throughout the years to restore the lake. Only recently, CAR Cundinamarca, the local agency responsible for the lake, launched a serious lake restoration project which included the purchase of this dredge.
The Ellicott portable cutterhead suction dredge will be used to clean the lake and restore it to its original condition. The powerful 20″ dredge is expected to remove a bulk of the sediment that has accumulated over time throughout the surrounding environment and increase the lake’s depth, from its current 3 feet (1 m), down to approximately 15 feet (4.5 meters) of depth. The dredged material will be used to enrich nearby agricultural areas and replenish land which is prone to flooding, benefiting a local population of nearly 200,000 habitants who rely on agriculture.
The customer selected Ellicott Dredges, LLC to supply their new medium-sized dredge based in large part on the prior success of an Ellicott Series 1170 Dragon ® dredge acquired a few years ago by Cormagdalena, another Colombian government agency. That dredge has proved to be extraordinarily productive and reliable, maintaining critical navigation on the Magdalena River, the most important river for commercial navigation in Colombia.