Drought measures ‘must wait until 2027’
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Costa del Sol’s drought measures ‘must wait until 2027’

MAJOR works designed to relieve Malaga’s drought problems will wait another 10 years, it has been claimed.

The Drought Decree due in January 2018 is expected to see current irrigation bans extended, with around 60 per cent of La Viñuela reservoir having been used to water crops.

Current low rainfall levels has meant Malaga is in its second drought in 10 years, with its last affecting Guadalhorce and the rest of the Costa del Sol between 2005 and 2009.  Planned works to ease the situation by transferring five cubic hectometres of water from Iznajar to other reservoirs have been in the pipeline for two years, with progress still not made.

Meanwhile, the Junta de Andalucia says it is now “better prepared and robust” to face the new drought.

Last month, it was revealed the Junta de Andalucia will provide subsidies for irrigators who use recycled water.The initiative is designed to compensate farmers after they are being hit with a new round of water restrictions from tomorrow.

Irrigators will be given financial incentives for using recycled water from sewage plants at Algarrobo and Velez Malaga after the La Viñuela is left at only 22.7 per cent of its capacity.  Water shortages have already begun to affect crop yield and the Junta has shown it is keen to avoid further losses to the €300 million industry.

Meanwhile, in October it was revealed the Department for Environment and Planning is working on a policy to help reservoirs in Axarquia and Guadalhorce.

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.”

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