Water restrictions considered as Costa del Sol drought puts crops at risk

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Arrid: The Costas are suffering from a lack of rainfall

WATER restrictions have been proposed in southern Spain in a bid to save farmers’ crops.

The Ministry of the Environment is considering imposing the measures on the Costa del Sol due to the current drought.

Parks, gardens and pools could be denied water as fruit and vegetable harvests are at risk of being lost.

Farmers and the Junta de Andalucia regional authority have discussed emergency measures including the use of recycled water from sewage treatment plants, but this would require heavy investment.

Alejandro Clavero, president of the Drafting Committee of the Statutes and Ordinances of the Central Irrigation Board of the Axarquia, said:

“The problem is that all of this leads to money. Thousands of litres of water are thrown into the sea every month but putting them at our disposal requires money and time.”

The management of the Costa del Sol, Guadalhorce-Limonero and La Viñuela-Axarquia water boards will meet this week with a view to discussing the most effective water-saving measures and how they will be implemented.

The Agrarian Association of Young Farmers in Malaga claim to have demanded such measures for more than three years.

General secretary, Benjamin Fauli, said: “You can’t take measures to deal with a drought if they can’t be carried out due to lack of investment. What it does is delay the inevitable when we need an immediate solution.”

Some of the emergency works that the Junta de Andalucia has put in place include the desalination of the Rubite tunnel, the connection of the wells of the Chillar to the supply network of the La Viñuela system and the use of recycled water from Velez- Malaga and Algarrobo. 

These vital measures have helped to salvage this year’s mango and avocado harvests which were almost lost.

Subtropical crops and trees struggle the most in July, August and September.

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