The Almeria Water Board has demanded that the central government, after the urgent meeting they have held today, establish at 30 cents per cubic metre the desalinated water for irrigation “as established by Law 1/2018 of 6 March in its fourth additional provision”, explained the spokesman of this forum, José Antonio Fernández Maldonado. The Mesa del Agua has analysed the current situation of irrigation in the province due to the “electricity tariff slashing” and, in the same way, has demanded that an electricity tariff be created for the agricultural sector that includes irrigation communities. “A special tariff, like the one that existed at the time and was removed 18 years ago,” he said.
José Antonio Fernández Maldonado pointed out that during the extraordinary meeting they also backed the use of renewable energies, “as in the future they will be an important part of the electricity used in the countryside and that is why a sufficient amount should be allocated so that farmers and irrigation communities can install photovoltaic panels with a 70% subsidy”.
Producing one cubic metre costs 80% more
Regarding the current situation of irrigation water, the Almeria Water Board has explained that next year the irrigation communities will be forced to raise the price to farmers by between 30 and 40%, depending on the production area. “If we go to reality, in the month of October we would have to raise the cubic metre by 80%. In October the daily market has been very expensive. What the irrigation communities are doing is to sign longer-term contracts to diffuse over time the very large increase we are having in these months”.
José Antonio Fernández Maldonado assured that the irrigation situation “is very tough because we depend on electricity, the price of which has shot up. That is why we are waiting for Acuamed to pass on the definitive prices for next year in December”, although the irrigators already have the indicative price of the desalination plant in Torrevieja (Alicante) from which water reaches the Almanzora, which is at 87 cents per cubic metre, “but it could go up to 1.20 or 1.50 euros with the quarterly review”.
The Mesa del Agua has pointed out that water prices in the Poniente Almeriense will be around 45 cents/m³ in 2022, and that in the Almanzora “at the moment” they are at 65 cents. In other areas, such as Níjar, it will depend on the prices set by Acuamed next month. “In the rest of Spain, for the most part, the prices are derisory compared to what we pay, in the worst case at two cents per cubic metre”.
Support for the mobilisations of agricultural organisations
In addition, the Almeria Water Board has indicated that it will join the day of mobilisation called by Asaja, Coag and UPA for 24 November in Madrid, so that the different irrigation communities “will collaborate with the logistics, sending messages to producers and, in collaboration with the cooperatives, will send buses to actively participate in this mobilisation.
The Almeria Water Board
The following social and economic agents of the province participate in the Almeria Water Board: FEDERACIÓN DE REGANTES DE ALMERÍA (FERAL), JUNTA CENTRAL DE USUARIOS DEL PONIENTE ALMERIENSE, JUNTA CENTRAL DE USUARIOS DEL ALMANZORA, JUNTA CENTRAL DE USUARIOS DE ADRA, AGUAS DEL ALMANZORA SA, COMUNIDAD DE USUARIOS DE AGUAS DE LA COMARCA DE NIJAR (CUCN), COMUNIDAD GENERAL DE USUARIOS DE AGUAS DEPURADAS (CGUAL), ASOCIACIÓN DE REGANTES DE ANDALUCÍA (AREDA), ASAJA, COAG, UPA, REGANTES DE ALMERÍA (REGA), ASEMPAL, COLEGIO OFICIAL DE INGENIEROS AGRÓNOMOS DE ALMERIA and COLEGIO OFICIAL DE INGENIEROS TÉCNICOS AGRÍCOLAS DE ALMERIA.