Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain
in the Autumn for a month or so

'Fair and softly goes far' - Miguel de Cervantes

Friday, 12 June 2009

Government likely to approve surprise water transfer from the Tagus to the Segura basin

The Water Transfer Commission, part of the Ministry of the Environment is scheduled to approve today a transfer of water to cover the summer months from the Tagus system to the Segura system of about 70 cubic hectometres for human consumption and supply, equivalent to the consumption needs of 2.5mio people for drinking water in the Murcia, Alicante and Almeria regions.

One of the means by which the transfer is to be achieved is by the sale of water rights by irrigators in Estremera (Madrid), who are recompensed for not irrigating during the critical summer months. The surprise announcement of the transfer is likely to provoke severe criticism in Castilla-La Mancha, which is opposed to these transfers, but whilst regional governments have a high degree of autonomy the central government retains the over-riding power to use water transfer aqueducts.

As I've written here on a number of occasions in the past, water resources remain a highly-charged political issue in Spain. Undoubtedly, I imagine, the essential needs of the more drought-stricken parts of the country will be catered for, even notwithstanding the negative feelings of certain regions to transfers happening - the alternatives are not pleasant to think about.

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