Thousands of litres of water discharged into Axarquía river after unlicensed irrigation reservoir ruptures

A video recorded by a local resident showing the water gushing out of the infrastructure went viral on social media networks

Eugenio Cabezas

Wednesday, 7 June 2023


A small irrigation reservoir, built without a licence in Cómpeta in the Axarquía, broke last Sunday 4 June, leading to the loss of tens of thousands of litres of water. The incident happened last Sunday in an avocado farm located in the Las Zorreras-Los Llanos area, on the border with the neighbouring village of Canillas de Albaida.

For reasons that are unknown and are being investigated, the recently-built water storage infrastructure, cracked on one of its sides, causing the discharge of much of its reserves into a stream that leads to the Turvilla river.

A video recorded by a local resident showing the water gushing out of the well went viral on social media networks. The reservoir, which measures about 40 metres long, by 20 metres wide, with a depth of about eight meters, was approximately half full. It had the capacity to store about 6,400 cubic metres of water.

Disciplinary case

According to the Local Police, the leak did not cause any significant personal or material damage to the environment, although the water took a number of avocado trees, irrigation tubes and damaged part of the property on which the reservoir was built.

The acting mayor of Cómpeta, Obdulio Perez, explained to SUR that the damaged irrigation reservoir "has been built without a municipal licence" and that the town hall has opened a disciplinary case, after the Local Police went to take action and ordered to stop the construction work a few months ago, without the owner of the property and developer "heeding the advice of the town hall".

According to the acting first deputy mayor of Cómpeta, Rosaluz Fernandez, the property in question belongs to the Acequia Real irrigation community.

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