Thousands of irrigators concentrated to claim compensation for the desalination plant in Villaricos

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Desalination Villaricos.

Thousands of irrigators have concentrated on Monday against facilities Villaricos desalination plant in Cuevas del Almanzora (Almería) to demand the central government his “urgent repair” the lack of water resources in the area, as the facility built by Acuamed and operated by the National Court in the framework of the operation 'Frontino', It is unutilized due to the effects of a flood in September 2012.

The call, sponsored by the Bureau in Defense of Water Almería, It has been supported by companies marketing fruit and vegetables, agencies and international road transport mayors of the Almanzora, as well as agricultural organizations, irrigation communities and the Association of Almería, other agents.

Irrigators have criticized parliamentarians representing the Almeria province in Madrid and Sevilla have not been “able to achieve in five years the Ministry of Agriculture proceed with the repair of the desalination plant in Villaricos”. “Who defends us? Who will come out saying Almería needs water to continue to create wealth?”, It has questioned the spokesman of the Bureau of Water, Jose Antonio Fernandez.

The spokesman urged the political forces to Almeria “urgently initiate joint dialogue and defend to the Government and to the Board of Andalusia a common position on water that is aligned with proposals for irrigators, in order to ensure short-term water needs of the food industry almeriense”.

“From tomorrow, Almeria parliamentarians have to hold their political leaders for an urgent solution to the lack of water in the Almanzora, and if they do not get better stop representing this province and they leave home”, meanwhile he has said the president of the Central Board of Users of Almanzora, Fernando Rubio.

“WATER MIX”

The Water Board has defended the need to establish urgently “water mix” that “combine resources from transfers, desalination and reuse”. “Enough of politicians who cost us a million euros a year and do not address water problems, the raw material from which depends the main economic sector of the province”, has said Fernández, who explained that “the problem of political, of all general, They do not become aware of the real gravity to which major production areas are facing due to the lack of water, just remember agriculture when they need our votes”.

President of the Central Union of Irrigation Aqueduct Tajo-Segura (Scrat) he remarked in his speech that “drought is the worst drought of ideas and infrastructure”, inasmuch as claimed “water Almeria, from wherever, as soon as possible and at a fair price”.

The Water Board has insisted that priority actions include the completion of the 'Autovía del Agua', the reuse of treated water, the expansion of the desalination plant in Carboneras, the recovery of the Rambla Morales desalination plant, the construction of a desalination plant in Balsa del Sapo, the expansion of the desalination plant in Balerma, the regularization of irrigation rights, the consolidation plan risks and the implementation of core users together masses of overexploited water.

A NEW DESALADORA

For his part, the president of Aguas del Almanzora, the company that manages the transfer Negratín-Almanzora, Javier Serrano, He has stressed the need for “build a new desalination plant in the region”, for what irrigators already have a project that includes a plant with capacity to produce 30 cubic hectometres. “What we need now is the firm commitment of the Government of Andalusia as soon as possible to co-finance works that are willing to contribute to the 40 percent of its value”, It has been said.

Serrano explained that the “negative” Government to authorize new transfers “forces right now to bet on desalination”, although he pointed out that the “high price” of desalinated water “subtract the Almeria agriculture competitiveness if not cheaper, something that can be achieved by implementing renewable energy in desalination processes”, as has insured.

Now, as calculated by the entity, the 49 percent of the price of desalinated water corresponds to the electricity cost, hence the interest of irrigators for agriculture in Almería implement a new energy model “also contributes to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide attributable to farming”.

The new water year, which began last October 1 and ending on 30 September 2018, It starts in Almeria with a water deficit 191,8 hectometres due to drought, that has led to the temporary suspension of transfers Negratín-Almanzora and Edge-Safe; and the absence of adequate infrastructure to enable the use of other water.