The ministerial proposal supposes a decrease of 105 hm3 per year, of which 27 hm3 correspond to supply and 78 hm3 to the risks of the Transfer, according to the CHS
The Central Union of Irrigators of the Tajo-Segura Aqueduct (Scrats) has warned that the cut in contributions from the transfer will bring “serious socio-economic and environmental consequences” for the Spanish Levante, according to sources from the irrigation organization in a statement.
For the irrigators, the decrease in flows from the Tagus will have repercussions, not only for the Levante agri-food sector, but also “for the citizens”, who will directly suffer some of the consequences of the cut, due to “the unjustified increase” of the ecological flows of the Alto Tajo.
The ministerial proposal represents a decrease of 105 hm3 per year, of which 27 hm3 correspond to supply and 78 hm3 to the risks of the Transfer, according to data provided by the Segura Hydrographic Confederation (CHS) at the last meeting of the Water Council.
In this sense, Jiménez has stated that “the Transfer should not be touched because it will not only affect the countryside, but by extension all the citizens of Levante.”
“This will leave the irrigable areas, declared of general interest to the State and sized to receive 400 hm3 per year, with only 119 hm3 at the end of the current planning cycle,” they have denounced from Scrats.
Some statements that, according to Jiménez, “are supported by the Segura Hydrological Plan 2022-27”, which last week received a favorable report from the CHS Water Council.
According to the CHS plan, the cuts in the Transfer will end more than 8,000 direct jobs and thousands of indirect jobs, as well as the destruction of 12,000 hectares of farmland in Murcia, Alicante and Almería.
In short, the Segura Basin Plan drawn up by the CHS estimates that the loss of production value will be around 122 million euros per year.
The impact that irrigation will suffer will have direct consequences on sectors whose work is closely linked to the agricultural sector (phytosanitary products, logistics, packaging, fertilizers or fuel), with a corresponding drop in the consumption of the families involved in them.
In this way, Jiménez has predicted that “it will be like the fall of dominoes and it could happen to any of us: our families, our friends, our neighbors”, who has indicated that the plan sets at “8,060 total jobs» affected (direct, indirect and induced).
On the other hand, the increase in the use of desalinated water proposed in the Basin Plan implies a rise in the price of the water bill of households in Murcia, Alicante and Almería.
In this sense, the president of the Scrats has pointed out that “in addition, the basin plan makes it clear that desalinated water does not solve our water deficit due to its high costs”, which has highlighted that a greater use of desalinated water “will even increase plus the price paid for water in homes.
“Can we afford it?” asked Jiménez, who recalls that it is a blow that the entire Levantine society will suffer.
This situation will also mean “great environmental damage”, since the Levante crops function as the main CO2 sinks in the environment since “they are one of the basic tools to combat climate change in the area”, highlight the irrigators.
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