In Spain, conflicts over inter-basin water transfer are again setting regions against each other and the national government. Experts believe these are disputes that will increase in the coming years, because of climate change.
The prospect of water transfer from the Tagus to the Segura river being reduced by almost half over the next five years, according to the government's plans, is looming over growers in Alicante, Murcia and Almería. The government's decision is once again fueling the everlasting territorial conflict of the water war.
At the end of July, the Council of Ministers approved new thresholds for the water transfer with the main goal of improving the ecological flows of the Tagus. The agro-food sector in the area receiving water from that basin thanks to the Tagus-Segura aqueduct includes the Valencian Region (mainly Alicante and Valencia), Murcia and Almería, known as ‘Europe’s garden’.
This Ministry for Ecological Transition’s biggest problem is the high water prices. Whereas farmers receiving water from the aqueduct pay 0.17 cents per cubic meter, the cubic meter for desalinated water rises to 0.58 cents, five times more expensive. "Farmers cannot pay more than 0.20-0.30 cents for their crops to be profitable", the president of the Tagus-Segura Irrigation Union, Lucas Jiménez, states.
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