Ortiz Minister proposes to create a joint committee on State Board-solving irrigation water needs

Councilor Ortizregantesalmanzora

The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development, Carmen Ortiz, It has proposed the creation of a joint committee between the Andalusian and the central government on irrigation to plan and undertake the actions that are necessary towards ensuring the availability of sufficient water for farming in the autonomous community. During a meeting with the Community Irrigation Irrigation Union of Cuevas del Almanzora (Almería), the minister reiterated the commitment of regional government with the modernization of irrigation to achieve a more efficient use of water. The new Rural Development Programme (PDR) Andalusia 2014-2020 contemplates 112 million euros for this purpose actions.

Carmen Ortiz has called on the central government to make a "clear commitment to investment in infrastructures to address both water availability and its cost", and regretted that instead of seeking solutions, It is adopting "discriminatory decisions Almeria producers". "The PP government is favoring some regions governed by the party offering a lower price for desalinated water". The Minister asked for written last 11 November the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment to lower the price of desalinated water used by farmers in Almeria as it has done in the region of Murcia

Irrigation is currently undergoing a "deeply unfair" regulation, as the minister has considered, as well as supporting an increase in rates 80% en only 5 years old, You have to cope with high fixed costs even though the contracted power is only used at specific periods of the year. According to Ortiz, the tax exemptions proposed by the central government fall too short to alleviate the energy costs farmers have to face. The Board supported the establishment of a flexible rate for irrigation according to the needs of production and use of renewable energy is strengthened.

The minister has also called on the Ministry to repair and put back into operation Cuevas de Almanzora desalination plant that was destroyed by the flood of September 2012. The Minister held a meeting with representatives of the Union of Irrigation of Cuevas del Almanzora with whom he has evaluated the last works of modernization that has undertaken this community of irrigators of Almeria, and he has made this organization as an example of "efficient use of a scarce resource as water is done in Andalusia and particularly in this area".

Carmen Ortiz stressed that water scarcity has allowed agriculture in Almería makes an "efficient and intelligent" use of this resource and "obtain products with high added value" to develop. Con only 81.000 hectares of irrigation, Almería provides around a fifth of the total value of agricultural production Andalusian.

In the past eight years, the Board has allocated 26,6 million in aid for the modernization of irrigation in the province of Almeria financed European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (Feader), of which 3,2 millions have been for two projects of the Community of Irrigators of Cuevas de Almanzora. With the replacement of gravity irrigation by drip irrigation and the construction of a raft of storage and flow regulation and a desalination, this community has managed to save the 5% water needed for crops.

The Community Irrigation Cuevas de Almanzora, formed by the Union of Irrigation and Irrigation Jury, reúne a un total de 1.800 farmers totaling 5.400 hectares of crops in this municipality, mostly vegetables and, lesser extent, citrus.