A LOCAL residents group is to take the regional government to court in a bid to stop the planned second reservoir for the Contraviesa mountain range in Spain.

La Mesa en Defensa del Agua de la Alpujara (MDAA) believes the reservoir – which has yet to be built – will destroy agriculture in the region by taking 335 million litres of water from the Trévelez river.

Local farmers believe the combination with the 450 million litre capacity of the existing reservoir, the Trevélez river will run dry.

Local winemaker José Marcos – who is set to lose 28,000 square metres of EU funded organic vines if the seven-million-euro project goes ahead – presented the contencioso adminstrativo private lawsuit to judges in Granada after the MDAA met with Junta provincial environment chief Gerardo Sánchez on January 19.

An MDAA spokeswoman said: “We voiced our concerns to Señor Sánchez but he said the local farmers would have to install counters on their acequias (water irrigation channels) and use water sparingly.”

The regional government has said it is constructing the reservoir to guarantee a water supply to 15,000 residents of the Contraviesa. However, the MDAA believes sufficient water for the mountain range is stored in the existing reservoir.

News of the lawsuit comes two weeks after the Green Party of Andalucía launched their own legal order against the Junta de Andalucía, claiming water from the second reservoir will be destined for plastic greenhouses and illegal building. Gerardo Sánchez denied the Greens’ claims.

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