Construction of desalination plant in bone-dry Axarquía finally in sight?

by Lorraine Williamson
desalination plant

SEVILLE – They have been there for years: the construction plans for a desalination plant in the bone-dry region of La Axarquía (Málaga). Now that the bottom of the main reservoir La Viñuela there comes into view, the regional government seems to be finally taking action.  

The Junta de Andalucia is activating the procedures to enable the construction of a desalination plant in Axarquia. La Viñuela reservoir is less than 13% of its capacity and contains only 20.9 cubic hectometres. Without abundant rainfall in the autumn, that means serious problems for human consumption in the area by the end of the year. 

See also: Dramatic drought in Axarquia region is getting worse by the day 

The municipalities in the region, where many producers of subtropical fruits such as mangoes and avocados are also active, have been demanding the construction of a desalination plant for years. This is in addition to using reclaimed water for irrigation, as this barely reaches a third of the farms. The drought has already resulted in many farmers having to cut down part of their trees to ensure future production. 

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Related post: Drought threatens Andalucian olive cultivation 

With this activation of the procedures, the desalination plant and additional infrastructure would be possible in the coming years. The Official Gazette of Andalucia (BOJA) was published on July 26 announcing the request for the concession for the construction of the installation that supplies desalinated water for irrigation and human consumption to the population of the eastern Costa del Sol and Axarquía. 

Long term plan 

It would be a factory with a capacity to produce 25 cubic hectometers per year. That amount is more than enough to meet the demand from the region’s subtropical sector. Before the actual construction of the desalination plant can be started, many (technical) procedures must first be completed. 

See also: Company in Málaga has solution for drought problem in southern Spain 

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