The Board of Irrigators for the Bajo Gualdalfeo has called for a mass demonstration in support of the Rules Dam, irrigation network.
Although the demonstration will be held in Motril on the Plaza de la Coronación, the organisers are asking people from all along the Costa Tropical to participate and not just Motril residents.
The recent upset caused by the new Provincial Delegate for the Junta regarding her comments about transferring water from Rules to Almería were the last straw, it seems; hence this move to put pressure on the Junta and Central Government.
The Rules Dam was finally finished in 2003 after years of set backs and bungling, yet even though 16 years have past since then, coastal farmers are no nearer to seeing much needed irrigation water arriving from the dam.
The subtropical-fruit plantations require a lot of water, which has to be pumped up from the water table. The heavy-duty pumps used need large amounts of electricity, which is added to production costs.
Furthermore, the constant drain on the water table has lowered it alarmingly causing salinisation via seawater flowing in to replace the freshwater.
The situation can’t continue much longer, but that hasn’t stopped more and more land being given over to irrigated-crop usage; currently some 10,000 hectares.
But haste is an alien word to politicians in the Regional and Central Governments, who excel at passing the buck but not the bucks of a monetary kind.
In the 2006, the Central Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and the Environment ordered a project to be drawn up for the design of the irrigation network between the dam and the coast. The state-owned water agency, Acuamed, was given the task, which they completed in April 2009.
The Central Government sent just over 80m euros to the Junta for the construction of the main pipe line before it divides off serve different parts of the coast (The TC-200), whilst at the same time ceding the task to the Junta as a regional responsibility. However in 2013, the Junta said that it was unwilling to shoulder the responsibility and handed the task back to Madrid, as it considered it a national-level responsibility.
Things degenerate into what politicians are best at; squabbling, in this case over whose responsibility it is to oversee the project and who should be paying for it.
So, Ladies and Gentlemen, if you would like to make known your displeasure in the company of many like-minded individuals, then the Plaza de la Coronación in Motril is the place to be on Friday the 29th of this month between 12.00h and 13.00h
(News: Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)