Transport of desalinated water to Andalucia requires adjustments to the port of Murcia

by Lorraine Williamson

The government of Andalucia wants to transport desalinated water from Murcia to the areas hardest hit by the extreme drought. The water will come from desalination plant at Escombreras, in Cartagena, the federal government announced. 

The transport of desalinated water by ship from the plant in Escombreras (Cartagena) to Málaga, Carboneras and Algeciras can be arranged quickly. At least, if you compare it to other options during the drought. It is an emergency solution based on a political agreement between the regional government of Andalucia and the Region of Murcia. The transport by tanker and the port costs do make the transport expensive.  

Adjustments needed in port 

The solution requires technical adjustments in the Escombreras area, says Manuel Buitrago. He works for the newspaper La Verdad de Murcia. The water is loaded at the Escombreras dock, at the 330-metre-long Fertilizantes dock. A 300-metre pipeline is to be built there to transport desalinated water, according to Emasa technicians. Specialists from the water company of the city of Málaga visited the Cartagena desalination plant a few weeks ago. According to he newspaper, transport takes about 15 hours. 

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Costs of transporting desalinated water and adjustments shared 

The junta’s idea for shipping desalinated water from Murcia to Andalucia is that the cost of the ships is borne by the central government. The Andalucian government is paying the costs of the modifications in the ports and the discharge of water. The Andalucian president, Juan Manuel Moreno and the Spanish Minister for the Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, will meet in the coming weeks. They discuss the actions needed to alleviate the extreme drought of the autonomous community. 

‘In a major challenge such as dealing with drought, all help is needed. We will always be more effective if all the autonomous regions work together during extreme droughts. The government welcomes this joint effort to enable the transportation of desalinated water,” the government spokesperson said. 

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