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La Viñuela reservoir in the Axarquía is at 17.7% capacity. E. Cabezas
Plans advance for new desalination plant on drought-stricken eastern Costa del Sol
Drought crisis

Plans advance for new desalination plant on drought-stricken eastern Costa del Sol

The Spanish government has approved an amendment to the project which gives state-owned water company Acuamed responsibility for its execution, with an initial planned investment of 100 million euros

Eugenio Cabezas

Nerja

Wednesday, 10 July 2024, 19:29

Opciones para compartir

Spain’s national government cabinet, at the proposal of the ministry for ecological transition and demographic challenge (MITECO), approved on Tuesday 10 July the first amendment to the project for a desalination plant in the Axarquía on the eastern side of Malaga province.

The amendment allows a direct management agreement with the state-owned water company Aguas de las Cuencas Mediterráneas (Acuamed) which will be responsible for the development of the future desalination plant to be located in Vélez-Málaga.

The desalination plant could be a reality by 2028 according to the ministry and as has already SUR reported, the draft project could be ready by the end of this year.

The plant will be mixed, for irrigation and domestic use, which is why local farmers have requested that the Axarquía’s public water company Axaragua also form part of the agreements that are being prepared.

Domestic and irrigation use

President of the Mancomunidad association of town halls in the Axarquía and Axaragua, Jorge Martín, explained to SUR that they are going to request 50 per cent of the maximum concession of 25 cubic hectometres to be used for supply, while the remaining 12.5 would be set aside for irrigation of the Guaro Plan.

The planned investment in the Axarquía desalination plant is around 100 million euros, which would come from European funds via the central government, but which the farmers and local residents will feel in their water bills.

The central government representative in Malaga, Javier Salas, has welcomed this new step. He said, "This makes it possible to continue with the work that had already begun. Thanks to the commitment of the government of Pedro Sánchez, given the lack of commitment of the regional government to implement major investments in the Andalusian Mediterranean Basin, which is its exclusive competence".

However, the secretary general of the opposition Partido Popular (PP) in Malaga, José Ramón Carmona, has demanded "greater agility" from Sánchez’s socialist PSOE government in the construction of the desalination plant, criticising the fact that 14 months have passed since this project was declared to be of general interest to the state until commissioning of the state public company Acuamed to be formalised.

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