THE Conservative opposition Partido Popular(PP) will create a National Water Authority if it wins the July 23 general election to deal with Spain’s water supply issues for farmers and other sectors.
Despite opposition from some environmentalists, the party feels that defending farming and irrigation is a potential vote winner.
The PP led by Alberto Nuñez Feijoo wants the ‘participation and collaboration’ of public administrations like the regional governments along with achieving a ‘scientific and social consensus’ to set up a new national body.
It also aims to make the maintenance of irrigation for agriculture compatible with natural areas like the Doñana Natural Park, and those badly affected by farming overexploitation such as the Mar Menor lagoon.
It’s manifesto talks about ‘the use of technologies to optimise resources’.
The proposed National Water Authority would provide ‘governance, investment, and management’ solutions to water problems in an integrated manner right across Spain.
In other words, it wants a uniform approach and policy as opposed to regional governments coming up local initiatives.
The commitment to irrigated crops is clear with the PP electoral programme saying: “We will promote a modern and sustainable irrigation, efficient in the use of water and energy, which generates an agriculture of greater added value and capacity to generate employment.”
It also mentions collaboration with the 17 regions and individual municipalities for a ‘more efficient’ use of water and fertilisers in irrigation and to modernise supply channels to cut water losses in distribution channels.
The PP plan talks of ‘priority investments’ for sanitation, supply, and flood control, as well as ‘guaranteeing’ water needed for irrigation.
Another section of the proposal refers to a plan to modernise the country’s infrastructures, dams, and canals to the ‘needs of the 21st century’ and to use all resources for better water management and to deal with flood and drought risks.
Over flooding the manifesto mentions the ‘prioritisation of restoring riverbeds, especially urban ones, which allow increasing the protection of people, property and the environment’.
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