Aquifers are dying: 44% of groundwater bodies in Spain are in poor condition

Spanish aquifers are dying: 44% of groundwater bodies are in poor conditionThis is demonstrated by the documents prepared to design future hydrological plans. This means that Spain failed to meet the 2021 deadline to clean them up in 2015 and is at high risk of not meeting the environmental targets set in the Water Framework Directive in 2027., the last period, except for invaluable cases where it is possible to benefit from an extension or less rigorous goals. AND non-compliance is equivalent to a financial penalty.

the situation is critical In some cases. Already It is assumed that 19% of groundwater bodies will not meet the deadline (all should have good global status before the end of 2027). Also, good status is not expected to be achieved for a decade or more. Y given as 2039 and later for 8% of the masses.He condemned Greenpeace.

The extension of the 353 masses (out of a total of 804) in poor condition exceeds 140,000 square kilometers. An impact covering more than 40% of the total area covered by groundwater in Spain.

The Greenpeace report highlights: Spain has an annual supply of 29,400 cubic meters of water in its aquifers.. This is the total amount of water that can be available per year if the regeneration capacity of all groundwater bodies is respected.

The Confederates aim for the 152 underground bodies, totaling more than 75,000 square kilometers, to benefit from an extension after 2027 to try to achieve good status. The vast majority of these bodies are contaminated with nitrates from agriculture and industrial livestock.

Overuse and lack of control

This country has neglected groundwater.. allowed overuse “Over regeneration, which allows and pollutes the water cycle, despite being increasingly called an important human resource resource as the climate emergency progresses and dry periods lengthen,” denounces Greenpeace.

In Laguna de Santaolaya, Doñana, a month ago ICTS RBD CSIC

“Despite the reduction in river beds, historical sources of cessation, brine intrusion into coastal aquifers, and, largely, their close relationship to surface waters, as evidenced by the reduction in river beds, they have received little attention. The report states that the theoretically protected areas are Tablas de Daimiel, Doñana or Its impact on disasters such as the Mar Menor” is noted.

Greenpeace notes that there is talk of reservoirs, rivers and lagoons when there is no rain, but it takes time to focus on groundwater, a resource “vital in any past drought.”

It paid the price for a lack of attention, a lack of control, and an abuse allowed when not encouraged by management.Human resource is the aquifer’s worst companion and priority under the law,” adds the NGO.

Actually, chemical contamination by nitrates, sulfates, pesticides or arsenic reaches tap water. According to the Ministry of Ecological Transition, 30% of the population in Spain is fed by groundwater.

The map of groundwater bodies changes when looking at each of the problems that are keeping them in bad shape. “The damage caused by extraction increases towards the South, as pollution is concentrated in areas with a strong weight of agriculture, while also concentrated in the most saturated areas by the expansion of macrofarms,” ​​says Greenpeace.

groundwater situation

– Quantitative status. 27% of the stands are in poor quantified condition mainly due to large-scale removals. It affects more than 50% of the masses in the interior basins of Segura, Guadiana and Catalonia, and a third of the basins the size of Guadalquivir, Segura, Duero, Ebro and Júcar.

The Ebro Basin: the impact of macroganjas and livestock on groundwater. CHE / PRTR Spain

–Chemical condition. 30% of the masses have a weak chemical status. It affects most of the masses in the Guadiana, Segura, Guadalete and Barbate, Gran Canaria, Tinto, Odiel and Piedras basins and a third of the Guadalquivir, Júcar, Duero and Ebro basins.

– Food contamination. The effect of nutrients, mainly from an excess of nitrates from non-organic agricultural fertilizers, but increasingly from manure from industrial livestock, is one of the most common, in addition to other compounds used in agriculture.

– Effect of macro farms. Industrial livestock farming has a significant impact on groundwater bodies, especially when promoted without taking into account the risks of its concentration or the effect of placing farms on highly permeable soils and thus greater risks to aquifers. This is evident in the large areas of the Ebro, Catalonia and Aragon, and in basins such as Segura and Murcia.

– Pesticides and pesticides. The effects of chemicals other than nitrates affect 11% of the masses and the greatest impact is in the Catalonia, Júcar, Segura, Guadalquivir, Ebro and Duero basins.

– Intrusion and salt water contamination. 13% of groundwater bodies are affected by these reasons. Extreme withdrawals in coastal aquifers change the flow of the aquifer, causing saltwater intrusion. In continental masses, poor well management leads to cross contamination with salts and gypsum.

Situation by hydrographic basins

Greenpeace says both the quantitative and chemical status of groundwater bodies relative to hydrographic basins is a faithful display of the economic interdependence of the different regions they pass through.

a) Yes, The poor quantitative status of 55% of the masses of the Guadiana basin “involves the detriment of decades of extractions for irrigation.after the reconversion of the vineyard strengthened in the masses of Alto Guadiana, the result of which at ground level was the dryness of Las Tablas de Daimiel, the disappearance of the Ojos del Guadiana or its impact on the Lagunas de Ruidera”.

Las Tablas de Daimiel National Park, affected by the plight of the aquifers. EFE / Belle

The poor chemical status of 80% indicates that the human supply is not prioritized and indicates “manure use and increased livestock farming”. in waters that are largely used for drinking and long sought replacements”.

bet on irrigation this is evidenced in the case of the Segura masses, the ‘garden of Europe’. According to Greenpeace, the formerly rain-fed and largely irrigated olive grove is behind the Guadalquivir figures and next to Doñana, with a special section for red berries.

Agriculture and macro farms reflected in the state of Ebro waters. in the basin dourodependence on cereals and herbaceous crops such as maize and beets. overuse and contamination by nitrates, ammonium and arsenic Adds NGO to some of the groundwater bodies.

Reference report:


Environment department contact

Source: Informacion


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