SUR

Junta de Andalucía calls for emergency drought measures from Madrid

The region is seeking more resources from central government for water management, desalination and recycling, and has asked for the National Drought Committee to be convened

JOSÉ LUIS PIEDRA

The Andalusian regional government has called on the central government to urgently convene the National Drought Committee in order to address the current situation of serious water deficit suffered by the hydrographic basins, as well as to establish emergency measures for the agricultural and livestock sector.

The Junta's acting minister for Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Carmen Crespo, made the proposal at the Sectoral Conference on Agriculture held in Madrid, attended by the minister for Agriculture, Luis Planas.

Crespo warned of "the very worrying situation" that farmers and stockbreeders are experiencing in Andalucía due to the lack of rainfall. Technical data from the regional Ministry of Agriculture show a 47% reduction in rainfall compared to the previous year.

Crespo said that "it is now urgent to convene this decision-making body", in which all the autonomous communities participate, so that "the state can implement all the necessary resources at its disposal to deal with the severe drought we are suffering".

The acting minister said "these measures should be focused, on the one hand, on a desalinated water subsidy of at least 0.30 cents and activating the double electricity tariff for irrigation". She stressed that it is necessary to "generate new water resources through a combination of different policies such as water transfers, desalination and a greater use of regenerated water".

"Now is not the time to disregard any possibility, infrastructure or additional water resource that we can put in place, such as the need to immediately add more Next Generation funds to the promotion of water infrastructures aimed at the agricultural sector, resources that are crucial to alleviate the serious situation we are experiencing in the agricultural production areas of Andalucía and Spain," Crespo added.