THE JUNTA DE ANDALUCIA is drafting legislation to improve the water shortage affecting the Guadalhorce reservoir.
Jose Fiscal, Minister for the Environment, explained the move was going ahead because “it does not seem the weather is going to change in the short term.” He added some of the proposals included “using certain wells that are not currently being used and water efficiency measures,” explaining,” all measures will be carried out in coordination with users.”
Fiscal added, “in all Andalusian regions where there is a major problem of supply, a plan is pending,” explaining drought was “not a threat, it’s a reality.”
The news comes after irrigators last week met with the Junta to discuss measures to avoid further water shortages.
As several reservoirs near their drought threshold, irrigators waited anxiously to find out what proposals would be put in place to reverse the current situation, as well as what watering bans they expect to face next year.
La Vinuela us at its lowest level since 2008, currently at only 23.7 per cent capacity, while the Guadalhorce reservoir is also at its lowest level in many years.
Benjamin Fauli, president of the Asaja farming group, told one publication his group was prepared to consider industrial action if no improvements were made, “since we have been warning about this for several years and practically nothing has been done to avoid it.”
Jose Fiscal said if more rain does not fall it is “probable” a drought will be declared. While the Junta has met several times this year already to discuss the water shortage, very few of the proposals put forward by irrigators have yet been put into effect.
Since the beginning of the year, irrigators have been banned from watering their crops one day per week in a bid to reduce water use by 10 per cent. In July the Junta admitted the plan was not doing enough to prevent water shortages.