The Federation of Irrigators of Almería (FERAL) He has decided Board held the constitution of the Bureau of Water Today, an advocacy forum provincial level that is born with a spirit of solidarity and apolitical. The Water Table will channel the defense of the interests of irrigators from Almería with a unique voice and professional agricultural organizations will be represented in it., the irrigation communities and Central User Boards, the provincial representatives of the employers' association and the representatives of the fruit and vegetable marketing sector.
Also, the Water Table will have a purely sectoral nature and political parties will not take part in it. However, the political representatives of the province and other groups of the Almerian society will attend as guests when the Water Table holds a plenary session.
The implementation of this new protest forum aims to get the involvement of all the competent water administrations to solve the drought that the Almería province suffers., and that has put in check the survival of thousands of hectares of crops that have no guarantee of being harvested due to lack of water. "The time has come to end the situation of institutional helplessness suffered by irrigators, that we are being victims of the political struggles between administrations and the abandonment of functions that prevents the search for new resources and the optimal use of those that are already available ”, according to the president of FERAL.
The official constitution of the Water Table will take place next week in a first session that will serve to approve an imminent mobilization schedule, and also to define the details of an awareness campaign on the consequences of drought in the main agricultural production areas of the province.
During today's meeting, the FERAL board of directors with the support of the highest provincial representatives of the agricultural organizations ASAJA and COAG, Francisco Vargas and Andrés Góngora, has defined a first table of urgent claims to guarantee the survival of the crops in the coming months.
To the Government of Spain, an extraordinary contribution of 5 Hm3 from the Negratín Transfer for relief irrigation in Almanzora. The urgent commissioning of the Cuevas del Almanzora desalination plant is also requested., disused by the flood of 2012, and who should be supplying 15 Annual Hm3 to the irrigators of the Almería Levante. Unlocking the transfers of irrigation rights is another urgent request that the Water Table will transfer to the central administration.
To the Junta de Andalucía, the provincial water forum will demand the urgent construction of the pipeline that connects the Palomares desalination plant with the Los Guiraos and Pulpí irrigable area. Also, the installation of tertiary treatments will be requested in all the treatment plants in the province to allow the treated water to be used for irrigation and thus promote reuse. In the same way, the Water Table will present to the Andalusian Government the request for a special plan for the consolidation of irrigation systems, accompanied by financial aid, and the urgent constitution of the Central User Boards in all the overexploited water bodies so that the administration of the available resources is done in coordination with all the users..
The Water Table will shortly request a meeting with the heads of the Ministries of Agriculture and Environment to promote a new framework for institutional dialogue from Andalusia with the Ministry of Agriculture to speed up decision-making.. In this, for the Water Table it is a priority that both administrations guarantee that the irrigators of Almería also receive subsidies for the price of desalinated water, as well as other similar aids to those contemplated for Murcia by the Ministry of Agriculture.
In the opinion of the president of FERAL, the competent administrations “must leave irrigators out of their political confrontations and must responsibly comply with the management of general interests, since the main economic engine of the province of Almería is at stake ”, according to José Antonio Fernández.