THE Segura basin will miss out this year on a total of 160 cubic hectometres of water from the Tajo, as a result of the 2014 decision to increase statutory reserves from 240 to 400 cubic hectometres. Once levels drop below this amount, transfers will cease.
It was agreed that there would be a four-year transitional period but reserves are diminishing. With these now standing at 333 cubic hectometres, only six cubic hectometres are reaching Alicante province each month.
The six-cubic hectometre water transfer that was authorised by the central government in Madrid last month is clearly insufficient, said Herick Campos, an MP for the PSOE socialist party in the Madrid parliament. “Presumably we have less right to water in Alicante province,” he complained.
The current situation is obliging the province to turn to desalinated water to guarantee, at a cost, the domestic water supply.
The agricultural sector is equally thirsty, said Alicante growers, who have had to acquire water from the Torrevieja desalination plant. It will answer their needs only until the end of January and it costs eight times as much as Tajo-Segura water, they said.
“If the province had to rely on water from the pipeline alone, we would have to close the taps in each and every home in the Alicante province,” Campos said. It only was thanks to infrastructure built under Programa Agua that there have been no water cuts in Alicante province, the MP declared.