Water supplies diverted as dry summer beckons
31 March 2006, MADRID — Spain has approved the controversial transfer of water from one river to another to provide more water in one of the country's driest regions.
31 March 2006
MADRID — Spain has approved the controversial transfer of water from one river to another to provide more water in one of the country's driest regions.
The cabinet backed the plan to divert 38.5 million cubic hectares of water from the River Tajo to the River Segura during April, May and June.
The water will only be used for human consumption.
Water reserves in the Tajo Basin are at a 'critical' level, so the government has not allowed the water to be used in the Segura Basin to water plants.
The government is waiting to see if Spring rains bring more water to the area before deciding if it should divert more water for use on farms.
At present, water reserves in the Tajo Basin stand at 54 percent of their normal capacity, while those in the Segura are at 17 percent.
After last year's severe drought, the government decided to try to offset a repeat of the same crisis by diverting water supplies.
But the move created a row between farmers and politicians in Castilla La Mancha, through which the River Tajo flows, and their counterparts near Alicante, Murcia and Almeria.
The south-east of Spain, despite being one of the driest areas of the country, has the highest number of intensive farms, golf courses and urbanisations which put a severe strain on the limited water supplies.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news