The delegate for Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Antonio Mena, has assured that “Mr Lorenzo’s statements today demonstrate a total lack of knowledge of water regulations”. Mena explained that article 80 of Law 9/2010 on Water establishes that “the revenue from the improvement levy is used to finance hydraulic infrastructures declared to be of interest to the Autonomous Community”.
In this sense, Mena has denied the accusations made by the PSOE and has stated that “the implementation of actions to improve the guarantee of supply in the municipalities of the Almanzora Valley with resources from the Cuevas de Almanzora reservoir and the Carboneras desalination plant” has been declared of interest to the Autonomous Community following the approval of Decree 178/2021, of 15 June, which regulates the indicators of hydrological drought and exceptional measures for the management of water resources in the Intra-Community Hydrographic Districts of Andalusia.
Mena has responded to the PSOE’s criticisms by assuring that “with their statements they demonstrate the laziness during their government of the Junta, which hardly made any investment in infrastructure in the province of Almeria with the water canon”.
The Andalusian Government has detailed that with the actions contemplated by the Regional Ministry of Agriculture in the Almanzora, “an immediate response is offered to the existing situation by increasing the guarantee of supply to the municipalities directly affected with direct connection to the Negratín-Almanzora water transfer, a transfer that has been closed since 2021. This work would be integrated into the supply system in high of the whole area allowing to cope with the foreseeable cuts in the transfer that are being constant in recent years, also extending the geographical scope of these benefits once the future new DWTP of the area is carried out”.
According to Mena, in addition to complying with the Water Law, financing this work with the Improvement Canon “is the best solution from a technical, economic and environmental point of view”. He explained that “it would not make sense to duplicate upstream distribution networks when the destination of the water transported is both for supplying populations and for irrigation”. In his opinion, “this Regional Ministry takes care of every last euro and invests with technical, economic and environmental rigour”.
The delegate stressed that “the solution adopted in the report has served as the basis for the declaration of emergency and responds to the water needs of the Almanzora, a thriving marble industry in Spain”. This solution “that we are promoting is designed so that the pipeline supplies the municipalities of this region”, as the territorial delegate stated.
In addition, Mena regretted “that while the Palomares desalination plant has been at a standstill since 2012, without supplying a single litre of water to the east of the province, the central government has looked the other way by not investing a single euro in its commissioning for the last 11 years”. The delegate assured that “thanks to the Government of Juanma Moreno we are executing infrastructures that guarantee the future of our autonomous community, even assuming the works that correspond to the Executive of Sánchez”.