Almanzora growers thirsty for irrigation water

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Por los caminos de Málaga, Flickr

GROWERS in the Almanzora basin bought the rights to 40 cubic hectometres of water in February.
This water came from the Negratin reservoir and was surplus to the needs of growers in the Genil-Cabra valley (Cordoba). Nevertheless they have yet to feel the benefit of the water.
Javier Serrano, president of Aguas del Almanzora whose members use the association’s water to cultivate 24,000 hectares of Valle del Almanzora land, revealed that they are still waiting for authorisation from the national government’s Ministry of Agriculture.
“We need the Negratin water because no transfers are arriving from the Tajo-Segura pipeline,” explained the association’s secretary Matias Gomez Cervellera, who predicted that the situation would worsen after the summer.
Treated water from the desalination plant at 55 cents per cubic metre is insufficiently competitive, the Levante growers maintained.
Meanwhile 100 cubic hectometres of water are wasted each year during rice cultivation in the Bajo Guadalquivir. This is the same amount that Almeria province lacks, they said, comparing their situation to the difference between raising a child in Africa or opulent central Europe.
The water stress experienced by Almeria growers is unequalled in Europe, Javier Serrano warned: “There can be no remedy for this structural water deficit without a long-term solution.”

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