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Spanish growers leave their tomato plants because of water scarcity

Coag Almería has issued a statement demanding that the Junta de Andalucía ensures compliance with the water concession in El Bobar so that the farmers of Bajo Andarax can irrigate their crops.

"The tomato is the most important crop in the area, and it is going through a structural price crisis that has forced many producers in the area to abandon their cultivation, as they are unable to assume the increase in production costs and abusive rates like the one that the water sector is trying to impose for desalinated water,” Coag stated.

A crazy and unaffordable rate
Representatives of Coag Almeria recently met with the General Community of Users of the WWTP of Almeria (CGUAL) to discover first-hand the problems that arose as a result of the agreement that Almeria's City Council and the Irrigation Community were going to sign to access desalinated water for irrigation in Bajo Andarax; a resolution that is still paralyzed. The conflict was generated by the disagreement over the price and the conditions required to access the water from the desalination plant. Now, there is a new confrontation due to the total use of the treated water.

Coag Almeria demands the Delegation open an immediate investigation to resolve this situation, especially taking into account that the more than 3,200 hectares of crops in the Andarax Region are waiting to be able to access water. This unsustainable situation took place after the CGUAL requested desalinated water due to the increase in demand caused by the new harvests at the beginning of the campaign, exceeding the volume that the El Bobar treatment plant, concessionaire of the Junta de Andalucia, can offer.

"After this request, the Department of Environmental Sustainability of Almeria's City Council presented a new agreement to CGUAL, which establishes a crazy and unaffordable rate for desalinated water," stated Jose Antonio Perez, the president of CGUAL.

According to these new requirements by the Department, desalinated water could cost up to 1.92 euro per cubic meter, a price that, in the opinion of Coag Almeria, "is unsustainable and must be reviewed and rectified by the City Council. The price should be closer to the 0.57 euro that the same institution asked for 3 years ago.”

Finally, Coag Almeria demanded the City Council and CGUAL reach an agreement that prioritizes supplying water to the crops.

Source: hortoinfo.es


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