26 Mar, 2024 @ 12:45
2 mins read

Gibraltar is building a pipe to provide drinking water from Spain: Locals across the border fume amid drought conditions

SPANIARDS are livid as Gibraltar is building a pipe to provide the British territory with drinking water from Spain. 

Gibraltar has historically been self-sufficient aside from some emergencies. Photo: Gibraltar Tourism and AquaGib

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According to Europa Sur, the ‘exact uses’ of the pipe are ‘yet to be determined’ but it is intended for ‘future emergencies’. 

The pipe, which will reach La Linea de la Concepcion, is about 80% complete and currently stands at the Spain-Gibraltar border.

The project reportedly needs more funding to reach its end destination, as this section is the most ‘expensive and complicated’ part of the trajectory.  

The final section, which runs under Winston Churchill Avenue is causing problems due to the ‘heavily developed’ nature of the land. 

However, Gibraltar has reportedly not made any attempts to contact relevant authorities in Spain regarding the tube. 

Speaking to Europa Sur, the director of the Campo de Gibraltar’s water management authority, said: “There has been no official contact. Absolutely nothing.”

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Jose Manuel Alcantara, Director of Arcgisa confirmed that no contract had been signed regarding water supply to the Rock. 

“We are in a peculiar situation at the moment because of the drought and so a request of this kind would need to be studied carefully,” he said. 

The director also referenced a 2022 fire affecting Gibraltar’s desalination plant, which Arcgisa helped to put out. 

The blaze started as a result of a pipe going under the border designed to supply water from Spain in case of an emergency. 

It destroyed parts of a Gibraltan desalination plant, leading Spain to import 4.4 million litres of water to the Rock. 

At the time, AquaGib, Gibraltar’s water authority, said: “Due to the emergency, we imported significant volumes of drinking water by road and non-potable water by barge. 

“Work began on all possible options, including the laying of a new pipeline at the border. The government has no intention of using this pipe as a permanent supply of drinking water from Spain, and it will only be used in the future as a contingency measure in the event of an emergency. 

“We will always ensure that we are self-sufficient in our water production.” 

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Currently, Gibraltar is not under any water restrictions and is self-sufficient. 

This is partly thanks to three reverse osmosis plants which supply the Rock’s water. 

Nonetheless, the new tube has sparked outrage from Spaniards on social media. 

One wrote: “They’ve stolen Gibraltar and now we give them water just in case there’s a drought?”

The issue has also reignited many Spaniards’ indignation that Gibraltar is under British rule. 

A Twitter user said:  “What?? On top of everything they want to drink our water? Gibraltar is Spanish!”

Meanwhile others questioned the government’s interests in the pipe: “As if the Spanish government didn’t have enough water supply problems! How can they allow this? What interests do they have with Gibraltar and the UK?”

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