The four hours that Vice President Teresa Ribera devoted two Fridays ago to the irrigation officials of Alicante and Murcia to further bring their position on the future of the transfer, her commitment to review Segura and Tagus plans without political criteria (like night and day in her technical proposals), or the Minister of Ecological Transition in Castilla. -Confessed to dislike for the permanent victory attitude of the La Mancha government; Tajo-Segura, key members of Ximo Puig’s team, such as Ana Barceló, former Minister of Health and today PSPV’s trustee in Parliament, could be interpreted as signs that something might change.
The truth is that after three years of water warfare to save Europe’s orchard and the future of a significant part of the province of Alicante, discouraged farmers and nearly on the verge of collapse, both the Government and their own. In a way, they, like Consell, have sent signals that something predestined may change, primarily around the increase in Tagus’ ecological flows, that no one is allowed to forget. Carrying a sense of loneliness, waterers find themselves with an unexpected trick until recently. In a year there will be regional elections in the Community of Valencia, Vega Baja is very important, Alicante is also important and something must have reached Madrid and Valencia about their voting intentions, even if they don’t say it.
Come on, Carlos Mazón and López Miras, leaders of the Community of Valencia and PP in Murcia, get on a tractor as soon as they get the chance or the Vox ultras benefit from the support not only does it sit well in the league. Palau, however, may have something more solid behind it that caused Puig, PSPV and even Compomís to react. There must be something that puts everyone on the side of the “indispensability” of a transfer that was not among the priorities on the agenda until recently, or at least not among those directly connected to the irreducible Teresa Ribera. On the other hand, it’s been a year since Castellana planted farmers or invited them to have a few beers in the Las Letras neighborhood.
Is there a match? The threat hasn’t changed, it’s still there, but the fact that the vice president undertook to technically review the plans could be a step forward, even though from these pages it’s always been assumed that the real war is being fought in the USA. offices. For example, the four hours that Ribera and his entire team sit down with Lucas Jiménez and Javier Berenguer, representatives of the transfer’s waterers. They didn’t jump out, but slightly better than they entered, although it’s true that it’s hard to maintain confidence at this stage of the game.
What no one, even Teresa Ribera, disputes, is that the transfer has infrastructure in the southeast of the peninsula that meets the needs significantly, including some states of Castilla-La Mancha.
If no one finds a cure, it will have minimal validity until 2027—history shows it always takes many years to come—and continues to envision an increase in ecological flow in Toledo and Aranjuez from the very beginning. , will have to reduce the contribution of water from the river to the province and Murcia, the lack of desalinated water, which will reduce 105 hm per year, much more expensive and impossible for the agricultural sector.
Precisely, the scarcity of water, its exorbitant price, and the general increase in the production costs of vegetables, citrus fruits, tubers, diesel, plastics and fertilizers are the breeding ground that drives the farmers – in Alicante del -60,000 families are directly dependent on water. Tajo – taking to the streets.
See if the transfer is important, the water reaching Alicante and Murcia from Tagus not only benefits these two provinces, but also provides 43% of the agricultural exports from Spain to the European Union. Specifically, 71% of vegetables and 25% of fruit production. The economic value of agricultural production is EUR 1,500 million per year, 34% in rural Vega Baja and Elche, but water is also key to sustaining residential tourism. The total annual economic impact is 3,013 million Euros. As for the carbon footprint, irrigation prevents the release of 1.2 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere per year. Replacing the water from the Tagus transfer with desalinated water would reduce this figure to 700,000 tons.
The Ministry of Ecological Transition not only softens its speech with the announcement of a 500m euro investment to improve hydraulic infrastructure in the Segura basin, but also acknowledges that the contamination of Tagus is not the fault of the transfer. Poorly treated wastewater discharged from Madrid’s Jarama to the riverbed.
Sources familiar with the process assured this week that the Tajo Confederation is reconsidering reducing the increase from 8.5 million m2 per second to 7 million m2/sec. A Solomonic solution that the executive would propose and which had Consell’s approval, but which in principle casts doubt on the Tajo-Segura Aqueduct Central Association, because according to their calculations, 40 hm per year would continue. Desalinated water, which is not currently available, should be provided. But it is progress.
The Segura basin represents the base of an industry that weighs more in Spain than the EU average (2.9% versus 1.6%) and a positive trade balance. In 2019, agricultural exports accounted for 6.4% of Spain’s exports and contributed to reducing the structural trade deficit by more than 17%. Specifically, the three provinces account for 71% of vegetable exports and 25% of fruit exports.
How much more technical data do you need? Courtesy of Emiliano García-Page, president of Castile-La Mancha, who was already pleased that Teresa Ribera had already conveyed to them that they were fixed in the agreed flows, without meeting with the waterers. They don’t move an inch with “we”.
Note: Water started coming into the province from Júcar on Friday, while Tagus’ waterers imagined he might still have gone to save Tagus. It’s now until the end of the year, but it looks like Consell has finally taken action and is willing not to give up the opportunity for the tentative deal to last over time. Over 600 years of waiting deserves a good result.