Opponents question water plans for “semi-desert” Granada

LAST UPDATED: 30 Oct, 2007 @ 10:37
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Junta backs project to drill mineral water from Sierra Nevada

DESERTIFICATION, land erosion and the loss of the province’s only wetlands are just three consequences of a mineral water plan for Granada.

Those are the fears after a Sevilla-based company announced plans to extract up to 31 litres or water per second from underground reserves in the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

With a regional government grant of more than one million euros, Aguas de Sierra Nevada SL plans on drilling water from underground reserves in the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

This has led to claims the plan will lead to the loss of the province’s only natural wetland, the Padul lagoon, which is supplied with water from the same aquifer.

There are also concerns the water plan will intensify desertification in Granada.

According to regional government figures, 60 per cent of land in the province is in an advanced state of erosion and rainfall between 1991 and 2000 was 18 per cent less than the period 1961-1990.

“This will do irreparable damage to the area’s most precious natural resource – water,”

a spokeswoman for the Platform for the Defence of Water (PDW), a collective of residents and agriculturists that oppose the project, said.

Local politicians have also voiced their concern over the project, with leftist group Izquirda Union asking the Supreme Court of Andalucía to investigate regional government backing for the project.

In addition to the grant, Aguas de Sierra Nevada has enjoyed the full backing of the regional government, which has also conceded a loan of almost 2,500,000 to the company.

“This extraction of water is ten times what the population of Dúrcal consumes daily and is the equivalent of 30 per cent of all bottled water sold throughout Spain,” the political party said in a statement.

In further plans that have left many angered, the company also wants to build a bottling plant on the Zahor mountain, which towers over the Lecrin Valley town.

This, according to claims, will destroy 60,000 square metres of protected land.

The council of Dúrcal, which also gave its backing to the plan, claim the bottling plant will generate employment in the town.

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  1. It is quite beyond comprehension that pockets of subterranean water which extend dozens of square kilometres below Padul and Durcal are appropriated by private companies to be bottled and sold.
    It is even more infuriating when, upon further investigation, we find that said private enterprise has been hugely financed with public money!
    In a country which is on the verge of no-return desertification such activities are a manifestation of moral corruption and the unscrupulous manipulation of public funds for private benefit.

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