Spanish agriculture’s future threatened by potential water cuts

Spanish farmers, like Juan Francisco Abellaneda, present European supermarkets with contemporary fruit and veggies all yr long. However, these intensive farms in arid Southeastern Spain may soon face a water crisis, threatening the sector that supplies important produce across the continent.
Spain tops the European Union record in fruit and vegetable manufacturing. Almost half of these exports come from farmers who rely on the water transferred from the River Tagus, stretching hundreds of kilometres to the North. But with local weather change intensifying its impression on Spain, and almost 75% of the nation on the verge of desertification, the Spanish authorities is poised to limit the move of water from the Tagus to the southeastern Levante area.
The Iberian Peninsula’s longest river, the Tagus, has experienced a significant decline in water levels. In some areas, individuals are even in a position to cross its dried-up bed on foot during summer. Similar to the shrinking Nile in Egypt and the Tigris in Iraq, the water rights of the Tagus have become a politically delicate problem, particularly forward of the regional elections. The intensive agriculture trade, a pillar of the Spanish financial system, has come under scrutiny, reviews Bangkok Post.
Domingo Baeza, a professor of river ecology at the Autonomous University of Madrid, said that the area is one of Spain’s driest, without sufficient water sources to maintain its intensive agriculture. As a solution, the Tagus-Segura Water Transfer venture was established in 1960 under General Franco. The venture includes 300km of canals, tunnels, aqueducts, and reservoirs, transferring billions of litres of water from the Tagus to the Segura basin, located between Murcia and Andalusia. Once often recognized as a mannequin for managing droughts, it’s now accused of exacerbating them.
Meanwhile, the Levante region, comprising the parched provinces of Murcia, Alicante, and Almeria, has emerged as Europe’s largest horticultural hotspot, employing a hundred,000 folks and producing an annual revenue of 3 billion euros (around US$ three.3billion).
However, as Baeza identified, the Tagus is struggling, with numerous areas showing degradation due to its overuse in irrigating huge expanses of land. Since the inception of the Transfer challenge, Spain’s common temperature has risen by 1.3 levels Celsius. Consequently, the Tagus’s water circulate has dropped by 12% and will plunge as a lot as 40% by 2050, in accordance with government estimates. This decline, coupled with current excessive heat waves, led to water cuts as rivers and reservoirs dried up.
Greenpeace’s Julio Barea argued that the Transfer project is no longer a viable answer for Spain. He insisted that the survival of the Tagus is dependent upon the water diverted to southeastern farms. The political battle surrounding water within the lead-up to the regional elections has united unlikely allies. For instance, the Socialist-held Valencian region within the east formed an alliance with Murcia, ruled by the conservatives of the Popular Party, to oppose the water cuts. On Lost , the region of Socialist Castile-La Mancha joined forces with the government’s decree and received help from native right-wingers.
Spain’s left-wing government, beneath Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, declared that the water cuts have been essential to adjust to Spain’s supreme court docket rulings and EU environmental legal guidelines, each of which require protection plans for water basins. Minister for Ecological Transition Teresa Ribera, who based her determination on complete scientific data, has pledged extra funding to develop various water sources, similar to desalination processes..

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