Tougher action called for over dangerous uncovered or illegal wells in rural areas

Julen fell down this narrow hole that allegedly was not legal.
Julen fell down this narrow hole that allegedly was not legal. / SUR
  • Julen's fatal fall down a deep borehole and the death of a man and his dog have alerted the public to the risks of covert drilling for water

The tragedy of two-year-old Julen's fall to his death 70-metres down a narrow borehole had already drawn attention to the problem of uncovered and badly marked wells in the countryside. Public concern was added to this week with the discovery of a man and dog dead in a well, also in Malaga province.

Many of the thousands of wells or holes sunk in search of water in rural areas don't have the necessary licence and nobody is sure how many of these there really are.

Speaking after Julen was found, the central government's representative in Andalucía, Alfonso Rodríguez Gómez, called on people with unauthorised wells on their properties to make sure they were covered.

A representative of farmers in Malaga province who irrigate their land said, "We are asking, and we have always asked for [illegal water wells] to be monitored and closed." They say they have written to the regional government many times asking for only legal wells for agriculture and a stop put to illegal ones "for other uses, such as leisure".