Spain: new water plans to replace Ebro water transfer
Updated - Wednesday 16 June 2004
On his first day in office in Apr 2004, Spain's new prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, suspended the controversial US$ 15 billion (EUR 12.3 billion) national water plan, the first step of which would have involved sending water south by diverting part of the Ebro, Spain's longest river. Mr. Zapatero said the entire concept, which had been criticised as a giveaway to contractors and which various regions complained was inequitable, had to be rethought. Farmer's unions in the south have protested the suspension, claiming it would put them out of business. Chronic water shortages have been aggravated by low water prices and tourism-related development along the coast. The new government has not yet set out its water policy, but their strategy will probably focus on better use of available resources, rather than water transfers. This would include funding for desalination, treatment and recycling urban water and more efficient irrigation methods like drip irrigation.
Related news: Spain: water transfer plan illegal under EU law, says WWF, Source, 10 Mar 2003, http://www.irc.nl/index.php/home/products/source...
Source: New York Times, 13 Jun 2004
WWF - Water losses - Spanish National Hydrological Plan (SNHP), http://www.panda.org/about_wwf/what_we_do/freshw...
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