30 per cent less water by 2085

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DESERTIFICATION: Future risk

ALMERIA Province is trying to economise on water.

Its intensive agrifoods sector is optimising the amount of water it uses by introducing drip irrigation. Almeria City has reduced its annual consumption of water from the 150 litres of water that each resident used every day in 1994 to 130 litres in 2014, compared to the national average of 157 litres. 

Desalination plants have played an important part with a €750 million investment on the part of Acuamed since 2000 and €3 million from the Diputacion in 2014 alone.

Despite their efforts this has not been enough, not in one of the areas that is more at risk from desertification than any other in the country, warned Hermelindo Castro, Director of the Centre for Global Change. Underground supplies are depleted and drought is a constant threat to the province’s agriculture.

“Unless we act now we shall have 30 per cent less water in 70 years’ time,” he predicted.

An Almeria resident uses 55,000 litres of water a year, compared with the 64,000-litre average in Madrid. Nevertheless this almost doubles the 30,000-litre average consumed by 50 per cent of the world’s population.

The Almeria average does not suggest excessive waste but underlines the water shortage that affects one half of the planet, Castro said.

Number: 55,000 litres of water used annually by each Almeria City resident

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