Rethink needed on water management, say ecologists
By Dave Jones ENVIRONMENTAL association Greenpeace has claimed that the poor management of water – as well as climate change – has led to the current drought crisis in Spain.
The ecologists have accused the government of basing management of the precious resource on it being an ‘unlimited’ asset which will always be available, when the opposite is the case.
Greenpeace spokesman Julio Barea said: “Measures to combat water shortages should be introduced during periods of abundant rainfall using solutions which have been suggested by scientists and experts – and keeping politicians out of the equation.
“We have got to introduce policies to save water and stop wastage, as well optimising the resources that we have.”
Sr Barea noted that Spain is the country with most reservoirs per capita in the world – a total of 1,300 – and 214 new dams have been constructed on rivers in the last two decades.
Despite this, water shortages still occur during periods of limited rainfall.
He added that by fighting against the polluting of water, the government would be able to make more resources available, rather than building more reservoirs. Pollution comes principally from intensive agriculture and ‘industrial’ livestock farming practices, he noted.
Greenpeace also highlighted that the theft of water is occurring on a massive scale in Spain. According to the ecologists, there are 500,000 illegal wells or systems which tap water resources around the country which the authorities are turning a blind eye to.
Figures from the Segura river authority (CHS) showed that reservoirs in the basin were at 14% of total canationally, pacity at the beginning of this week, down from 23% at the same time last year.
In the Júcar basin, reservoirs were at 26% of total capacity.
Figures provided by the government show that, reservoirs are at 38.9% of total capacity, the lowest figure since 2006.
The government needs 'scientific solutions' to tackle the drought