Bid to beat flood­ing

Hu­man ‘mal­prac­tice’ has changed the land­scape

Costa Blanca News (South Edition) - - Front Page - [email protected]

An un­der­ground net­work of chan­nels is to be built to pro­tect the streets of Los Al­cázares from flood­ing ev­ery time it rains.

Mayor Anas­ta­sio Bastida noted that res­i­dents panic ev­ery time rain is fore­cast.

By Nuria Pérez AN UN­DER­GROUND net­work of chan­nels is to be built to pro­tect the streets of Los Al­cázares from flood­ing ev­ery time it rains.

Mayor Anas­ta­sio Bastida noted that res­i­dents panic ev­ery time rain is fore­cast.

How­ever, he stressed that the scheme will only solve part of the prob­lem as the town is hit by rain­wa­ter flow­ing from the Car­ras­coy moun­tains and the vol­ume has in­creased in re­cent years as dry river beds and wa­ter­courses have been changed dra­mat­i­cally by hu­man ac­tiv­ity and sec­tions are not be­ing main­tained.

Sr Bastida gave a joint press con­fer­ence with op­po­si­tion party lead­ers to high­light the is­sue.

So­cial­ist party (PSOE) coun­cil­lor Mario Cervera told Costa Blanca News: “The town should not have been flooded last week, be­cause the rain­fall lev­els were not high enough, but it still hap­pened.

“We are now get­ting wa­ter from un­known wa­ter­courses.”

The coun­cil­lors pointed out that the town has be­come a mag­net for storm wa­ter and said they are tired of be­ing ig­nored by gov­ern­ments and au­thor­i­ties.

“The town has not re­ceived any of the promised €32 mil­lion aid from the na­tional gov­ern­ment fol­low­ing the De­cem­ber 2016 floods,” they lamented.

The first stage of the new project will cost around €5 mil­lion.

All po­lit­i­cal par­ties com­mit­ted to in­clud­ing the fund­ing in next year’s bud­get, even though the mayor Bastida ad­mit­ted that the coun­cil would have to ask for grants from the re­gional and na­tional gov­ern­ments and the EU – or bor­row the money.

Coun­cil en­gi­neer Sal­vador Galiano ex­plained that drainage pipes will be in­stalled be­hind An­to­nio Menár­guez Costa sec­ondary school and on the road to Bal­si­cas as these are the ar­eas which flood first and chan­nel most of the wa­ter down to the town.

This ac­tion will be com­ple­men­tary to a more am­bi­tious and ef­fec­tive scheme cost­ing up to €20 mil­lion which has been drawn by wa­ter com­pany Esamur and Carta­gena polytech­nic univer­sity pro­fes­sors.

This would see the con­struc­tion of an un­der­ground chan­nel net­work to pro­tect the town.

One of these would be built to sup­port the D-7 drainage chan­nel to col­lect the wa­ter be­fore it reaches the AP-7 mo­tor­way and would take it to El Al­bu­jón wa­ter­course and wa­ter­courses on the north­ern side of the town.

Ad­di­tion­ally, an­other net­work would be built to col­lect wa­ter from ar­eas the D-7 chan­nel does not reach.

The scheme in­cludes im­prove­ment works to the D-7 chan­nel.

Mayor Bastida said the coun­cil is able to build the pro­tec­tion pipe­line net­work in the town, but the Se­gura river and wa­ter au­thor­ity (CHS) is re­spon­si­ble for wa­ter­courses and dry river beds.

On Fri­day gov­ern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tive in Mur­cia, Diego Conesa an­nounced ur­gent works to the D-7 chan­nel and its con­nec­tion to El Al­bu­jón and La Maraña wa­ter­courses.

Sr Conesa noted that the D-7 chan­nel had been se­ri­ously dam­aged in the De­cem­ber 2016 flood­ing and no re­pair work had been car­ried out. He said the mouth of La Maraña wa­ter­course has dis­ap­peared due to hu­man mal­prac­tice, so now wa­ter flows into the fields and is out of con­trol.

“Things we do wrong can have dra­matic con­se­quences in the fu­ture and all au­thor­i­ties have to join forces and co­op­er­ate,” he said.

Mayor Anas­ta­sio Bastida with op­po­si­tion party lead­ers

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