Fernando Delgado of the new Committee of Experts with Juanma Moreno

Andalucía sets up another Committee of Experts to find solutions to 'terrifying' drought situation

Water reserves are now below 23% in the region and president of the Andalucía, Juanma Moreno, acknowledges that “We are in an SOS situation”

Héctor Barbotta
HÉCTOR BARBOTTA SEVILLE.

One in every four euros generated by the Andalusian economy is under threat due to the lack of water. In the face of this problem, a new Committee of Experts has been set up to find ways of alleviating the effects of the drought. It consists of nine professionals from universities in the region, and held its first meeting with the president of the Andalucía, Juanma Moreno, on Thursday.

Although this is in addition to another committee set up by the Junta to deal with the same matter, it appears that there can never be too many experts. “We need people with the experience and ability to give a global overview of the situation,” Moreno said after the first meeting.

In fact, it is a sign that the Andalusian government is taking the impact of the drought seriously. Water reserves are now below 23% in the region and “all the alarms we have, have been raised. There are no more alarms left,” said Junta spokesperson Ramón Fernández-Pacheco earlier this week.

Juanma Moreno went to Thursday’s meeting armed with figures. He said 25% of Andalucía’s GDP depends directly on water and the last drought which can be compared with the present one, back in 1995, resulted in a loss of five billion euros for the economy. “We are in an SOS situation,” he said.

"It would have to rain non-stop for two months"

With no rain expected until at least mid-November, Moreno described the situation as "terrifying, especially for the agricultural sector" and said the Junta’s plans will go ahead even if there is rain soon, because it will still not be enough to make a difference. “It would have to rain non-stop for two months for water levels to recover,” he said.

He insisted that medium and long-term measures are needed, and the administration has to provide answers to people’s concerns. “We don’t have a magic wand to produce water, but what we do have is determination and the resolve to act with foresight, plan ahead and in a disciplined manner,” he said.