The Israelis and water

The Israelis and water

Unlike in Spain, water in Israel is sacred and they use each drop three times before it is discarded

Ignacio Lillo


Friday, 28 April 2023, 19:10


Antonio Luque, president of Malaga-based Dcoop, the biggest farming cooperative in Spain, tells of how some time ago he hosted a group of Israelis who were visiting Andalucía. When someone mentioned the scarce water supply, the guests were shocked. With just a fraction of what we have, and the help of technology, they are capable of living well in the desert, with trees and crops, and more than enough water for the respectable survival of society... The difference is that there it is sacred and they use each drop three times before it is discarded.

Here, on the other hand, we can't get it into our heads that the drought is getting worse, and, despite the scarcity of water, we are still living in paradoxical opulence, as if there were nothing wrong, because when we turn on the taps fresh water comes out with quality and pressure; and this summer there will be showers on the beaches, full swimming pools and gardens covered in lawns, as if this were Scotland. I won't mention the golf courses, which I know have been irrigated with recycled water from the wastewater treatment plant for years.

With the heat of June here in April, tourism out of control and agriculture terminally ill, we should have had emergency mini-desalination plants in the Axarquía months ago, like the ones they installed in La Palma when the volcano erupted.

And instead of taking action, we are still studying which of the three projects submitted for the concession of the large plant at the mouth of the River Vélez we like best. This plant would be connected with La Viñuela reservoir and should be considered an emergency project; the contract should have been awarded and construction started a long time ago.

It's also terrifying, for want of a better word, that until very recently, in some cases, and still today, in the worst cases, there are no pipes to take the water treated in the tertiary cycle at the sewage treatment plants to fields where crops are growing, but instead millions of litres are happily being pumped out to sea.

That's not to mention the real interconnection in the entire southern region, from east to west, with a network of renewed pipes, where thousands of litres of water would no longer be lost through leaks every day. Or the important projects that were held up by political squabbling, such as the Cerro Blanco reservoir, which would have meant top quality water reserves for Malaga, the Guadalhorce and now also for the Axarquía (let's not forget that the latter district now drinks water thanks to the former); this project will have to be recovered and dusted off whenever Spain gets some brave politicians...





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