• Quote: ‘Ministry intends to raise the desalinated water in Torrevieja 200 metres to the Ojós dam (Murcia), 60 kilometres away, to incorporate it into the transfer channels’

By Andrew Atkinson

The increase in the ecological flow of the Tagus will reportedly raise the irrigation electricity bill by €24 million annually.

According to the Tagus hydrological plan presented in June, the Ministry intends to raise the desalinated water in Torrevieja 200 metres to the Ojós dam (Murcia), which is 60 kilometres away, to incorporate it into the transfer channels.

The Spanish Government’s plan to replace river water with desalinated water increases electricity consumption five-fold.

Infrastructure of the Tajo-Segura as it passes through the Vega Baja is neither sustainable, nor economically viable.

The plan designed by the Ministry for the Ecological Transition to reduce the contributions of the Tajo-Segura transfer and replace them with desalinated water from 2022 threatens to dry up the aqueduct in a few years time.

Presently, only 50% of electricity comes from non-renewable sources in Spain.

The University Institute of Geography and the Water Institute, both of the University of Alicante, report the added economic cost of energy rises to €24 million annually, costing 0.6 euros / m3 for the ten current euro cents.

Farmers already pay 40 hm3 of desalinated water, which is cut back to the transfer, at that price. Until now, those 40 hm3 represented a cost of €4 million.

The Government is unilaterally committed to a very expensive and harmful plan – from an environmental point of view – without having any real alternative, since the works and the investment promised to produce more desalinated and cheap water, by using photovoltaic energy, will not be effective until 2028.

There will be no alternative infrastructure. The reduction in water that comes from the Tagus that will take place throughout 2022, is when the increase of one cubic metre per second in the river flow is expected to take effect.

In Aranjuez the price of desalinated water will be double that of the transfer, despite the expected reduction in energy cost with photovoltaic energy.

The University Institute of Geography of the University of Alicante, report the bodies of water are completely clean: “The great problem of the river occurs further downstream, when all the poorly purified flow from Madrid reaches the riverbed.

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