The Andalusian Regional Government supports the irrigators of Almeria in Madrid and defends the Tajo-Segura water diversion system

The Andalusian Regional Government supports the irrigators of Almeria in Madrid and defends the Tajo-Segura water diversion system
The Minister of the Junta de Adalucia Carmen Crespo asks not to go ahead with the hydrological plan of the Tajo that establishes the cut in water resources.

The Regional Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Carmen Crespo, participated today in Madrid in the rally called by the Central Union of Irrigators of the Tagus-Segura Aqueduct (Scrats) outside the doors of the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge to protest against the cut in the water transfer. “It is a decision based on political arguments, not on scientific reports”, Crespo stressed, who asked the State “not to go ahead with this hydrological plan for the Tagus” with which “they have betrayed the understanding reached by the autonomous communities and irrigators in the National Water Council”.

The head of Water in Andalusia explained that the president of the Junta himself, Juanma Moreno, has requested a hearing with the Council of State “to allow us to present allegations as other territories have done” in defence of maintaining the aqueduct. Carmen Crespo hopes that the central government “admits the allegations of the three autonomous communities (Andalusia, Valencia and Murcia) and the irrigators of the Spanish Levante” to “avoid a blow to the fruit and vegetable sector”, characterised by its high level of exports, its modernisation and its role as a “CO2 sink”. It is estimated that the cut in the Tagus-Segura water transfer would affect more than 25,000 hectares of crops and 15,000 jobs in the Levante region and, in the specific case of the province of Almeria, more than 120,000 users would be affected by the loss of a total of 4 hm³.

For the Councillor, the Ministry’s decision has important repercussions on food sovereignty and the economy of the Spanish Levante region, “where we are all united in an issue that is not a political confrontation”. Crespo asserted that his presence in Madrid aims to “support our territory, the water users of a dry Spain of which we are part and which needs the continuity of a water solidarity that dates back to 79 and which cannot be broken by a capricious political decision”. “We have gone to the point of exhaustion trying to negotiate”, said the Minister, who maintains that “with six cubic metres per second and the necessary works at the headwaters of the Tagus for purification and modernisation of irrigation, it is enough to have the river in the best conditions, which is what we all want”.

The representative of the Andalusian Government recalled that scientists support an ecological flow of six cubic metres per second, so it would not be necessary to raise it to 8.6 m³/s as proposed by the State. For this reason, Carmen Crespo has called for a halt to “this injustice, which knowingly puts the production of fruit and vegetables in the Spanish Levante region in checkmate”. The Councillor emphasised that this area of Spain is particularly in need of water resources and highlighted the good use made of water on farms, where it is used “drop by drop” in an activity that generates employment and wealth.

With regard to desalination, Crespo rejected that it is “the short-term solution” as has been proposed by the Ministry for Ecological Transition and recalled that the measures referred to by the State are already included in the hydrological plan but “to replace groundwater, not those of the Tagus-Segura”. In this area, the Andalusian Minister also recalled that there are still projects pending in Andalusia that are the responsibility of the State, such as, for example, the doubling of the capacity of the Carboneras desalination plant.

 

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