The Estepona solution
The Bottom Line

The Estepona solution

Such proactiveness to the drought crisis is something that clashes with the local custom of demanding that others do things for us

Ignacio Lillo


Friday, 24 November 2023, 16:29


In Malaga we should be coining and exporting a political concept that we might well call "the Estepona solution". It's very simple: it consists of less moaning and less criticism of the lack of action of others... And doing more for yourself. The great difference between that council at the western end of the Costa del Sol and the majority of others of its kind, is that where they call for things to be done, it gets on and does them with initiative and funding, without asking for a penny.

They did it before with the Estepona hospital. The town needed a medical centre and as the Junta de Andalucía, whose jurisdiction it is to provide one, did nothing, the town hall built one itself and handed the keys over to the regional health ministry so it could fill it with doctors, nurses and patients.

And now they're going to do the same with the desalination plant. They already have the land where they're going to put it and the plans. If they get the environment permits, in a few months they will be producing drinking water for the entire municipality and even have some left over to send elsewhere; and above all at a reduced cost thanks to renewable energy.

Mayor José María García Urbano and his team are a rare bunch, especially when it comes to important stuff: such proactiveness is something that clashes with the local custom of demanding that others do things for us. If, to make matters worse, the others are from a different party, it calls for some ranting and raving, as if criticism were not a means to attract attention and achieve something, but rather an end in itself. All to the annoyance of the average voter.

The compact desalination plant project will provide water for the Costa del Sol (for as long as Estepona and its surrounding area use that water, they won't be draining reserves in La Concepción reservoir); at no cost to the other authorities; cheap for the locals; and with a production that is almost imminent. The model is easily transferable to other coastal towns where tough restrictions are already in place, especially in the Axarquía, where the national and regional governments are still going round in circles over the grand plant they intend to build.

This idea only needs the environment permits to extract water from the sea and lay a waste outlet for the unwanted brine. And this is where the obstacle appears; those applications could take years. But the paperwork tap is a way of doing party politics: switched on and with running water when it suits them; off and with no more than a drip, when it doesn't. It remains to be seen how the "Estepona solution" fits into the equation.

Reporta un error en esta noticia

* Campos obligatorios