La Mesa del Agua de Almería decided at its meeting yesterday transferred to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment outstanding request for relief irrigation to save about four million fruit trees that are about to perish as a result of the suspension of Trasvase Negratín-Almanzora. According to estimates of the irrigation communities in affected areas, It is needed most urgently arrival 5 Hm 3 Negratín to ensure the risks of loss relief would prevent the harvest of citrus and stone fruit.
Already several days, in some areas of the Almanzora citrus and fruit trees receive no watering and trees have begun to lose leaves. The imminent harvest of clementines, which will start in less than ten days, is in danger of being lost if no water flows urgently. Right now, the fruits are not reaching commercial size, as the usual fattening is recorded at this time it has been diminished by the lack of water. After the harvest will be affected clementines other citrus productions, and subsequently stone fruit such as peach, Paraguayan, nectarine and plum.
The situation is particularly serious in the irrigation communities that had water as the only remedy available Negratín. This happens in the upper area of the Almanzora and especially in the north of Huércal-Overa, where some have already entered plantations' zero allocation’ and do not receive water. In most citrus farms scarce existing reserves in reservoirs on the plot will be out next week. "Recent rains have given for irrigation or two, but the situation is dramatic and if the government does nothing to remedy this will mean the ruin of many families and the start of million trees were planted decades ", He explains the spokesman of the Bureau of Water, Jose Antonio Fernandez.
vegetables, also at risk
The urgent request 5 Hm3 constitutes "minimum necessary" to avoid boot trees. In no case, irrigation relief is a remedy for the situation being experienced horticultural crops. Lettuce is one of the most affected production and some production companies in the region have been forced to sow only 25% of the available surface.
"Discouragement is widespread because they are not going to be able to meet trade commitments and the decline in production volume in the short term implies that hundreds of jobs will be lost in the field and in the handling and packaging industry", added the spokesman of the Bureau of Water, who says that "producers and marketers of Almanzora suffer a situation of true agony".
It is recalled that the loss of 43 Hm3 irrigation water from the transfer Negratín-Almanzora joins the 20 Hm3 also not currently receive the Tajo-Segura and the 15 Hm3 that were never supplied to the desalination plant in Cuevas del Almanzora, unutilized after floods 2012. Thus, irrigators have Almanzora 78 Hm3 less to start the new crop year.
Demonstration in October
Moreover, Water Board has decided to convene the entire agricultural sector Almanzora a demonstration that will take place next 16 October. With such mobilization, Water Board will require urgent repair of the desalination plant in Villaricos which is out of service since the flood of 2012.
"Five years later, the government still does not lift a finger to defend the interests of the irrigators in the area. The feeling of helplessness we feel every day and nobody does anything about it, although the Almanzora irrigators have offered the possibility of taking over the desalination plant and repair them assuming the total cost of the works ", added the spokesman of the Bureau of Water.
Soon, will begin a round of meetings with parliamentary groups in Seville and Madrid to convey first hand the seriousness of the situation afflicting the Almanzora and the need to arbitrate proportional short-term solutions to a situation of extreme necessity. "Politicians only offer us solutions within several years and that does not help us now. For months we ordered two meetings Andalusian President Susana Díaz and Minister of Agriculture, Isabel García Tejerina, and so far we have ignored, so we will insist ", According to the spokesman of the Bureau of Water.