TWO businessmen who illegally extracted water from Donana National Park have been jailed for two years.

The two men were found guilty by the court in Huelva of having illegally extracted water from aquifer 27, which supplies the natural areas of the Donana.

This is the second time the pair has been sentenced, as the original court decision to fine them €1,800 each for their crimes, was subject to appeal.

The prosecutor won the appeal and apart from the fine being increased to €2,400 each, they were also sentenced to two years in prison.

In addition, both men are also banned for a subsequent year of exercising any profession related to the agricultural sector.

The original verdict had found them guilty of illegally extracting water, but not of crimes against the environment – something which the new verdict has rectified.

The couple managed companies that during the period from 2009 to 2012, used 28,000 cubic metres of water from aquifer 27, for their respective agricultural activities, without any authorisation from the Confederación Hidrográfica del Guadalquivir (CHG).

As a result of illegally extracting water, the two men altered the aquifer’s water balance, causing serious damage to the Donana’s protected area, as well as the species that are housed in the National Park.

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