Juanma Moreno in Roquetas del Mar last week. SUR
Andalusian government puts water at the centre of its public works planning

Andalusian government puts water at the centre of its public works planning

Infrastructure projects worth 400 million euros are due to be put out to tender. Meanwhile Andalucía examines methods used in Israel to grow crops in dry areas

Héctor Barbotta

Monday, 13 March 2023, 18:53


With Andalusian reservoirs at less than 30 per cent of their capacity and the lack of water becoming a major problem as well as a drag on the economy, water infrastructure has become front and centre of public works planning this year.

The president of the Junta de Andalucía, Juanma Moreno, announced on Friday (10 March) that this year it is planning water infrastructure works with tenders worth more than 400 million euros.

Speaking at the laying of the first stone of works on a desalinated water pipeline to the west of Almeria province and Roquetas del Mar, Moreno indicated that in Andalucía a comprehensive water policy is being implemented. This covers everything from water supply to the modernisation of irrigation, wastewater treatment, reclaimed water, dams and restoration of channels.

“This represents an investment in the region which, among other things, includes 300 treatment works and supply works to help solve the problems faced by 215 municipalities in which 3.6 million Andalusians live,” said Moreno.

Israeli connections

The Andalusian minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Carmen Crespo, has held a meeting with Noam Weisbrod, director and researcher of the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, fulfilling a commitment made by the regional government at the Cop27 summit in Egypt.

President Moreno announced that Andalucía would strengthen ties with Israel to work on ongoing water projects. The institutes directed by Weisbrod form a network of scientific centres created by Israel in the 1970s to recover the Negev desert for agriculture.

Carmen Crespo pointed out, "Andalucía and Israel have great similarities regarding the use and availability of water since in both places rainfall is scarce and it is necessary to take advantage of every drop for crops." The minister stated that the country has "an agricultural model that is an example to follow to achieve maximum efficiency in the use of water and promote the generation of wealth and employment".

At the meeting, Crespo highlighted "the revolutionary technological innovations that have been put into practice in Israel to transform desert areas into crop fields that export a large amount of food to other parts of the world."

The agriculture head highlighted the importance of "sharing experiences from both territories that contribute to improving water security, stopping desertification and preserving the fertility of agricultural soils to continue contributing to the food sovereignty of Spain and Europe".

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