Anybody who has almonds or olives on secano land knows that the trees are limping through a lack of water – hardly any almonds and the coming olive harvest looks like it will go the same way.
But of course, if you’ve got secano on the Costa Tropical, you’re just playing at farming; the real farmers have irrigated, tropical fruit trees, and theyt are not looking at it as a small side-income, but their main cash earner, and they are plenty worried.
And because they are worried, the Mayor is worried; the Almuñécar vega has a fast disappearing water table. The trouble is, you see, that when sweet water goes down, then salt water pours in, which is why they are contemplating injecting recycled water from the sewage treatment plant down into the water table to keep the crop-lethal seawater out.
Now this situation; i.e., an ever-extending drought, affects more than the farmers within Valle Rio Verde – it goes right along the coast, but Almuñécar, or more specifically Carmenes del Mar in La Herradura, have a very specific problem, which is the opposite to everybody else’s – they’re praying that it doesn’t rain; at least, that it doesn’t rain a lot.
The more water that gets under the surface of Cerro Gordo, the more the hillside is going to move, and the more it moves, the greater the damage.
When the affected homeowners bought their property, they did so because they wanted that privileged sea view; they didn’t want a view of the seabed, which is what they’ll have if their houses rumble down the hillside.
So, within the four walls of the Mayor’s office the lady with the baton has conflicting needs: that it rains a lot to replenish the water table and that it rains the minimal possible so that she doesn’t wake up to find that the La Herradura housing stock has been greatly reduced.
Oh yes, widespread media coverage of the remains of villas strewn down the hillside will work wonders to get the Junta and Madrid coughing up money, but that would be like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.
And besides, who authorized the construction of Urbanización Carmenes del Mar, or better said, who filled their coffers with the building licence fees etc? OK, so it wasn’t the present Mayor, but it certainly wasn’t the Salvation Army marching bands, either.
Anyway, judges can order building projects stopped; illegal structures ripped down, but they can’t order a hillside to stay still.
Nope, Ladies and Gentlemen, the ponderous, Spanish, judicial system moves with the speed of grumbling tectonic plates and is not going to stop disaster from coming in the wake of heavy rain – only our dear politicians can; i.e. Sevilla and Madrid putting up the cash, right now, to get the stabilization work moving and even then it might be too late.
But the Junta is governed by a party that just gutted itself on a nationwide level and has a leader itching to move to Madrid to put on the party crown, whilst the governing party of the Central Government has a penchant for moving money, yes, but apparently into private offshore accounts…
Don’t expect much from our politicians and you won’t be disappointed.
(News: Herradura, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)