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180 hectares of illegal irrigated land in Campo de Cartagena dismantled out of a total of 2,900 hectares open for prosecution

Antonio Luengo, Regional Minister for Water, Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and the Environment, has met with the Mar Menor Scientific Committee and announced that they will insist to the Minister on the cessation of illegal irrigation.

The Regional Ministry of Agriculture will ask the Minister for Ecological Transition, who is visiting the Region of Murcia tomorrow, to urgently implement measures to prevent the entry of water from the Albujón wadi into the Mar Menor. He will also ask him to put an end to illegal irrigation.

Councillor Antonio Luengo, after meeting with the Mar Menor Scientific Committee, has assured that preventing the entry of water into the Albujón wadi will reduce the entry of nutrients into the lagoon.

Another of the requests he has announced is the cessation of illegal irrigation, although it should be noted that the Confederación Hidrográfica del Segura, a body under the Ministry for Ecological Transition, is responsible for identifying them, and the Regional Ministry of Agriculture is responsible for opening proceedings and requiring the owner of the land to return to the previous activity. In this sense, he assures that they have opened proceedings against 2,900 hectares of illegal irrigated land since the Law for the Recovery and Protection of the Mar Menor came into force, although at the moment 180 hectares have returned to their previous situation.

SITUATION OF THE MAR MENOR

The situation of the Mar Menor is in a loop and far from recovering, according to the spokesman of the Scientific Committee, Ángel Pérez Ruzafa, whose members met this afternoon, predicts that the situation of the lagoon will worsen.

The scientist has called for a reduction in the water table, which is 16 metres higher than experts say it should be, and is visible at ground level as far away as Torre Pacheco. Among the issues discussed was the concern about the entry of phosphorous into the Mar Menor, which together with the entry of nutrients through places such as the Albujón wadi, he said, is associated with the anoxia of this summer.

The scientists, Pérez Ruzafa said, are working on identifying the origin of the phosphorus. He estimates that most of it comes from urban waste water, although they are going to carry out research to determine this.

On this matter, the Minister of Agriculture has indicated that they have monitored more than 25 kilometres of sewage network on the coast and have identified and repaired more than 9 kilometres of pipes. In addition, he assures that they have proposed to the Ministry to monitor the networks throughout the basin and they are going to ask the town councils to identify the houses that are not connected to the sewerage network.

Next week, the Committee’s bathymetry and sediment experts will meet to work on identifying the origin of the phosphorus.

 

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