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An image of the layout of the pipes in the project. Alba Martín Campos
Major 750-million-euro 'water highway' project in Malaga gets backing from key agricultural groups
Drought crisis

Major 750-million-euro 'water highway' project in Malaga gets backing from key agricultural groups

The infrastructure would consist of 120 kilometres of pipelines and allow recycled wastewater to be pumped into areas affected by drought in the northern part of the province

Matías Stuber

Malaga

Sunday, 17 March 2024, 21:39

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A project dubbed the 'water highway' which promises to end the drought crisis in the northern part of Malaga province has the support of key agricultural associations.

The infrastructure, proposed by Dcoop president Antonio Luque, would consist of 120 kilometres of pipes, connected to the Guadalhorce wastewater treatment plant, which would supply water to parched areas in the northern part of Malaga province. The project has an estimated cost of 750 million euros and now needs the support of the administrations to fund it.

Help ailing farmers

Asaja president Baldomero Bellido told SUR the water highway is "key to guaranteeing the survival of agriculture". "We cannot allow wastewater to be poured into the sea with the current drought," he said. Bellido appealed to the Junta de Andalucía, Spain's national government and the European Union to help turn the project into a reality.

Coag secretary general Antonio Rodríguez also threw his support behind the project. "If this means that recycled water is not dumped into the sea, then that's a good thing," he said. However Rodríguez said the infrastructure would be "complex" to build and warned it would still be a far way off. "We need urgent solutions to alleviate the drought," he added.

Cooperativas Agro-Alimentarias manager Carlos Cintas defended the project as a "solution to the problems of drought for an entire region". "There are more than enough reasons for this project to be carried out. First, for the social good... It would benefit our farmers and their ailing economy and help to restore the state of our aquifers," he added.

The water highway project took a decisive step forward with the constitution of an irrigation community comprising some 30 municipalities in Malaga province. Between them, they contribute 32,146 of the 33,463 hectares of land covered by the scope of the pipeline network. The rest is accounted for by thirteen towns in the provinces of Granada, Cordoba and Seville.

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