The Ministry of Agriculture and Environment (MAPAMA) has committed to expansion works at the Torrevieja desalination plant.

This was announced by the president of the Region of Murcia, Fernando López Miras, last week after his meeting in Madrid with the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and the Environment, Isabel García Tejerina.

The minister subsequently met with the president of the Valencian Generalitat, Ximo Puig, who spoke about the concerns of farmers and smallholders about the serious and persistent drought suffered by the Valencian Community, especially within the province of Alicante.

As a result of the concerns, some of the “urgent and immediate” measures that were agreed with the Minister, included an agreement between Vega Media and Vega Baja to open their wells. They also agreed to an expansion of the budget line provided by the Ministry of the Environment in an effort to lower the price of desalinated water.

They also addressed the management of the National Water Plan aimed at alleviating the water deficiency in the Southeast of the Spanish Peninsula.

During his meeting with the minister, the president of the Generalitat Valenciana, Ximo Puig, outlined the demands of farmers from the Comunitat Valenciana, especially, those in the province of Alicante and the region of the Vega Baja.

He also asked about the situation of the desalination plant in Torrevieja, which is currently operating well below the production levels of which it is capable. Following the meeting he said “We have been guaranteed that, within a few months, it will produce a further 40 cubic hectometres which will double its current output.”

Puig defended the emergency actions that were adopted, including the urgent transfer from the Tagus and the utilisation of resources from the Segura basin.

He said that the National Water Plan must listen to the concerns of Valencian farmers, especially those in the areas most affected by the drought, including the Vega Baja, the Vinalopó and, in general, the whole province of Alicante.