Parties call for action against the drought in Tenerife as the situation is getting critical

  • Canarian Weekly
  • 14-05-2024
  • Tenerife
  • Photo Credit: CW
Parties call for action against the drought in Tenerife as the situation is getting critical

Pedro Martín, the president of the PSOE in the Tenerife Island Council, has today reminded Rosa Dávila that it will soon be three months since she announced the declaration of a water emergency on the island, yet no action has been taken, nor have proposed measures, such as the installation of portable desalination plants in critical areas, been implemented as suggested by the PSOE in February.

"More than two essential months have passed for the agricultural sector, during which the available water for farming has become critical without the implementation of any urgent measures," said Pedro Martín.

He emphasised, "We supported the President of the Cabildo in declaring the water emergency, although we told her it wasn't the quickest measure. We proposed specific projects and highlighted where the budget to pay for them, could come from. However," he added, " Rosa Dávila remains stuck in the same routine: making announcements without taking any initiative."

During this time, the water level in Tenerife's reservoirs has dropped to just 40.7% of their capacity, with last month being the hottest April on record.

Historically Low Reservoir Levels:

Between May 1st, 2023, and the same date this year, the percentage of water in the reservoirs has dropped from 56% to 42%, a decrease of 14 percentage points, and compared to the previous month, the decrease was nearly five percentage points.

All this has brought forward the “critical period” for the agricultural sector to spring, which traditionally is in the summer. "It doesn't look like we're going to have sufficient rain, and no measures are being taken," insisted Martín, who added, "We invested 250 million euros to secure water for farmers, mainly in reutilisation and desalination programs."

"We need the Cabildo to make decisions now as the infrastructure we initiated is completed and put into operation. We told the governing party what needed to be done, yet they have done nothing."

He explained that, thanks to the tasks carried out in the previous term, 60% of the irrigation water supplied by Balten this year has come from regeneration or desalination methods.

PSOE's Emergency Plan

The emergency plan proposed by the PSOE would add about 40,000 cubic metres of irrigation water daily to the system, comprising five actions and two plans to minimise losses, mainly through leaks, with an investment of at least 65 million euros.

Regarding water desalination, the proposal includes the construction of regional desalination plants in the Northeast, to be located in the municipality of San Cristóbal de La Laguna, and in the Valle de Güímar. Both would require an investment of 40 million euros and provide an additional 40,000 cubic metres. The projects and environmental impact reports are ready. Additionally, there's the expansion of the Fonsalía and Granadilla de Abona wastewater treatment plants.

While these projects are underway, Pedro Martín had requested the reactivation of the portable desalination plant installed in Güímar in the past.