When we talk about the state of the Mar Menor it is not often that the opinions of the regional government and environmental organisations coincide, which is precisely what has happened today. Both the Director General of Water and the naturalist organisation ANSE have expressed great concern about the massive inflow of fresh water from the aquifer and the wadis after the abundant rainfall of the last few weeks.
The storm has brought 31 cubic hectometres of fresh water into the Mar Menor and the water table has risen in some places by one metre above sea level. This is a “worrying” situation, according to the Community’s Director General for Water, José Sandoval, who was speaking at a symposium on agricultural engineering organised by the University of Cartagena.
So much fresh water reduces the salinity of the lagoon, an effect that worsens the state of the Mar Menor. Water from rain and runoff totals more than 31 cubic hectometres of water; the equivalent of the output of the Mazarrón desalination plant, according to Sandoval.
That amount of water is increasingly raising the water table; the groundwater table. The Water Director has already received worrying reports from some farmers who have meters installed on their farms.
The environmental organisation ANSE has also expressed its concern about the massive inflow of water from the aquifer and the wadis into the Mar Menor as a result of the rains in recent weeks. Pedro García, spokesman for ANSE, claims that there are wells located kilometres from the coast where the water has reached the surface due to the large amount of rainfall that has been recorded.
Pedro García says that the level of the aquifer was already very high before this episode of rainfall and now it is “practically overflowing”. He says that this is one of the most worrying moments for the lagoon because the aquifer carries a large amount of nitrates.
The ANSE spokesman does not rule out the possibility of another episode of anoxia due to the high temperatures expected over the next few days. Pedro García explains that the level of recovery of the fish species that resisted last summer’s anoxia is unknown.