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Juanma Moreno on a visit to one of the most powerful desalination plants in the world in the United Arab Emirates SUR
Junta de Andalucía proposes desalination master plan to Spain's national government
Drought crisis

Junta de Andalucía proposes desalination master plan to Spain's national government

President of the regional government Juanma Moreno has proposed that construction start on the new facilities as soon as possible and be operational by 2027 to combat drought

Lourdes Pino / Europa Press

Dubai

Tuesday, 12 December 2023, 11:44

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The Junta de Andalucía has proposed a plan to build new desalination plants between now and 2027 in a bid to alleviate the drought plaguing Andalucía.

Junta president Juanma Moreno put forward the plan on Sunday 10 December to the Spanish government on the third day of his trip to Dubai for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) where he visited the third largest desalination plant in the world, alongside representatives from Spanish water companies Veolia and Hidralia.

Speaking to journalists, Moreno said that, given the serious problem of drought in Andalucía, it is crucial to understand what other dry parts of the world are doing to combat the issue.

He pointed out that Andalucía will lack water and, therefore, "we must make every effort and use all resources" to ensure supply. "From Huelva to Almeria desalination plants must be built that allow us to have and recover more cubic hectometres, not only for irrigation, agriculture or livestock, but also for tourism and for human consumption," Moreno added.

The construction of a desalination plant can take between three and five years, prompting Moreno to request the central government come up with an agreement to finance the plan and start construction "as soon as possible".

There are currently projects under way, such as the desalination plant of Vélez-Málaga, and other works in Almeria and Malaga provinces. He also referred to the emergency projects of portable desalination plants in Axarquía and Marbella. But he insisted on the need for "major infrastructure that gives continuity and stability to the capacity to generate drinking water for the whole of Andalucía".

"Let's think big"

Moreno said definitive and structural solutions must be sought. "Let's build large infrastructure and think big," he added. Moreno hoped the central government would welcome his plan, especially following the recent agreement between the two authorities over Doñana national park.

"We will try to take advantage of this fluid relationship that we have now so that, as soon as possible, we can meet these needs," Moreno said.

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