Castilla-La Mancha wants to turn the tap off

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© Jesus Alenda
AMADORIO: Already depleted in this April 2015 photograph

DROUGHT and one of the hottest summers ever have reduced Alicante Province reservoirs to their lowest levels for years. The Amadorio in Villajoyosa is at 3 per cent capacity, the lowest level since 1984.

The Guadalest reservoir is at 16 per cent and inland Beniarres currently stands at 15 per cent and contains only four hectometres of water.

However much rain the summer and autumn storms might bring, it will not fill the reservoirs and the three dams need a water transfer.  

This should come from the Entrepeñas and Buendia reservoirs via the Tajo-Segura pipeline in Castilla-La Mancha whose regional government wants to turn the tap off. The reservoirs hold only 398 cubic hectometres of water between them and cannot afford to release the water, argued Castilla-La Mancha’s regional president Emiliano Garcia-Page.

Although this is low, the cut-off point for a transfer arrives when the reservoirs hold 304 cubic hectometres and in theory this should not stop the transfer from going ahead.

Nor should there be political friction, as both regional governments are both PSOE-controlled but where water is concerned, ideology and comradeship historically take a back seat.

What rankles in Alicante is the fact that the province recycles more water than Castilla-La Mancha.

A study by the Centre for Public Works Studies and Experiments (CEDEX) revealed that in 2008 – the last available figures – Alicante Province recycled 58.6 cubic hectometres of water, compared with 2.9 cubic hectometres in Castilla-La Mancha. 

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