Wednesday, 19 April 2023, 12:10
Next week, the Andalusian regional government will approve a new drought decree, the third it since the current emergency situation began, with an investment of 163 million euros. Twenty-five per cent of this amount will go to direct aid to the primary production sectors most affected by the lack of water. The sum of the amounts invested so far with the two previous decrees was 140 million euros.
The decision to approve this third drought decree was taken during the meeting of the Junta's Committee of Experts held on Tuesday 18 April, after which the President of the Junta, Juanma Moreno, called on the government to take coordinated action to tackle a problem which, he warned, has become a regular feature and is a direct consequence of climate change.
The president explained that the prolonged lack of rainfall, with five consecutive years with less rainfall than in the previous year, is compounded by high temperatures which has led to evaporation in the reservoirs, which stand at less than 30 per cent of their capacity. Human consumption in the large cities is guaranteed for the moment, although it is possible that restrictions will be imposed in some inland Andalusian towns and villages this summer.
Moreno said that this situation is having a major impact on the Andalusian economy and will lead to lower GDP growth than expected, and warned that this will also have repercussions for the Spanish economy as a whole. "Nobody should think that Spain will do well if Andalucía does badly," he said. He pointed out that the Andalusian primary sector is suffering a "perfect storm" with the drought, the Common Agricultural Policy, rising costs and unfair competition from products from third countries.
According to data from the Junta, the government in recent years has only invested 9.7 million euros in works aimed at combating drought in Andalucía compared to the 1.5 billion euros mobilised in water policies by the regional government, which has 300 purification works underway.
The president also called on the government to take advantage of the upcoming Spanish presidency of the European Union to promote a water policy on a continental scale that is sensitive to areas of structural drought such as Andalucía. "Spain has a unique opportunity," he said.
Moreno also criticised Pedro Sánchez's government's opposition to water transfers, reservoirs and desalination. "What is the water policy of this government," he asked after recalling that the Junta only has jurisdiction over a third of the Andalusian reservoirs.
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