The lack of rainfall and the low storage level in Canary reservoirs have been raising the concerns of the agricultural sector of the islands. For now, bananas, avocados and table grapes are the most affected crops. Given this situation, the Regional Government is already working on the implementation of an urgent desalination plan, The idea is to address the lack of water resources with the construction and improvement of desalination plants.
The Council of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of the Canary Government, headed by Alicia Vanoostende, plans to invest 11.2 million Euro in irrigation works for this year; 30% more than in 2019. Improving the transport network is key in these conditions.
Bananas, which require a lot of water, are one of the most affected crops, but avocados and table grapes are also hit. While the latter two don't have great water needs, Vanoostende says that in recent years they have been set up in areas where there are usually no irrigation networks.
Her department, in any case, is focused on improving the irrigation network and incentivizing its efficiency. To this end, it promotes the use of purified water, betting on systems that are more efficient than sprinkler irrigation, and seeking to improve the pipe network. Due to the obsolescence of distribution infrastructures, 29% of the water is lost, according to the latest data published by the National Statistics Institute (INE) corresponding to four years ago.
Insular water councils have the power to declare the water emergency on each island. The one in Fuerteventura already took a step in mid-January and declared the state of emergency due to dry weather. For their part, the cabildos of Lanzarote and La Palma, as well as the regional Executive, have chosen to declare the climate emergency. The impact of the environmental crisis is increasingly palpable and concerns are growing; however, the island corporations of Gran Canaria and Tenerife have ruled out declaring the climate emergency and claim that the water supply is guaranteed.
Source: Europa Press / eldia.es