Residents fight “water grab”

LAST UPDATED: 16 Oct, 2010 @ 21:50
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RESIDENTS in Lanjarón have filed a lawsuit in Granada against the regional government for allowing a mineral water company to extract 864,000 litres of water daily from a local river.

Aguas de Lanjarón claims it needs the water from the rio Lanjarón for industrial use. However, locals in the Alpujarra spa town and ecologists fear the river is in danger of drying up as the company takes the equivalent of 10 ten litres of water per second from it.

Now, judges in Granada have given the green light to local groups who oppose the plan to take legal proceedings after magistrates at the instruction court 7 allowed a lawsuit to be filed against the Junta de Andalucía on October 20.
The residents argue studies were made which showed the plan was unviable and potentially damaging to the environment – before the regional government gave their permission for the extraction.

Seven members of an interdepartmental commission of the Junta de Andalucía in Granada gave the green light to the mineral water company in May this year to collect the extra water to clean glass bottles for their reuse. This follows European Union directives forcing bottling plants to use glass packaging to cut down on the amount of plastic residue.

Juan Ruíz, a spokesman for the provincial branch of the Green Party, slammed the decision to grant the go ahead. He claims none of the seven regional government members were aware of the environmental impact the extraction would have.

“Taking ten litres of water a second is an assault on the rio Lanjarón which will lead to it drying up in a few months,” he said.

Señor Ruiz also criticised town mayor José Rubio, who gave his approval for Aguas de Lanjarón to extract the water.

“The mayor has placed the interests of the company before those of the local population.”

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