Spain Water Problem

Juan G. R. Measures to a prolonged drought

Newspaper Information. Alicante , Spain , Pág.18, 4/11/2005

Currently, the lack of water in reservoirs in the basin Segura, the insufficient number of water projects, as well as the high exploitation to which were subjected the aquifers in the province of Alicante and the Autonomous Community of Murcia, makes that the water problem in the region is tightened. For the year 2006 the guarantee of water for various sectors of the economy in the two regions could be affected, since only have few reserves of water available in reservoirs, with the groundwater greatly dismayed and exploited, 41 hectometres cubic providing the desalination, the water that can purify and reuse, as well as the volume of water expected to ensure the Ministry of Environment across the Tajo - Segura canal for the year 2006. Faced with such predictions must take the necessary measures and establish in advance the plan to make: the control of the extractions and quality of aquifers, the maintenance of the wells, construction of micro-dams, maintenance and proper operation of the dams, the continued modernization of irrigation systems, the rational management of water irrigation, proper use of wastewater, water saving campaign aimed to different sectors of the economy and the population, as well as define the strategy of use of water for each municipality and region, it must also established the plan of measures to be carried out by the Public Health for this situation. It must be determined the priority of each economic sector and quantified what is the volume of water available to be guaranteed to each one of them. In the case of the agricultural sector which is the most affected must be defined with that volume of water we have for irrigation of crops and water for animals, to adjust the plans for planting and livestock farms.

It must be established in time a plan of action before a situation likely drought, which will be enforced if the drought extending a long time, because economic losses to the lack of foresight would be substantial. If the year behaves in normal, we will not be implementing the plan and ordered a normal year.

The water demand in the province of Alicante is 310 hectometres cubic annually and the Ministry of Environment hope to ensure in the year 2008 the total demand, through the transfer Jucar-Vinalopo, construction of desalination, purification and improving the management, establishing that during the year 2007 will be made available to users volumes of water desalinized by the Commonwealth of Taibilla, but as long as the time is running planned to carry out the works in the project is necessary to make a plan of action to fight with the current water shortage of Alicante province and the Autonomous Community of Murcia.

The Jucar basin has a less critical situation than the Segura basin, but it must be established in time the necessary steps for to be facing to the year hydrological 2006 which has forecast normal year to little rain, for the autonomous regions of Valencia and Murcia . The Agriculture is the biggest user of water resources of Spain, implying that must specify the balance sheets of water sources and user demand, in order to achieve better planning and water use. The modernization of irrigation techniques and maintenance of irrigation and drainage, are important because they enable a more rational use of water and allow a greater economic impact in the areas of irrigation and drainage. Irrigation is vital for agriculture and to increase farm yields per unit area, allowing a reduction in the cost per ton produced and declining prices for agricultural products for the benefit of producers and the population, achieving that the agriculture will be more competitive and profitable. Irrigation enables greater assurance in stabilizing farm yields and markets, as the irrigated areas are less influenced by variations in rainfall than dry land areas. Proper management of irrigation water allows acceptable yields and a significant reduction in demand water, it is necessary to work in this direction to achieve additional savings of water.

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