For a better water exploitation in the Ebro basin.

Juan G. R. For a better water exploitation in the Ebro basin.

Newspaper Information. Page 23-24, 1/05/2008 . Alicante , Spain .

The system of distribution of rainfall in the Ebro basin is highly variable and provoke that exist within the watershed, areas with rainfall deficits and others with abundant rainfall, making it necessary to build more reservoirs, transfers and hydraulic works in different regions of the basin, in order to further regulate runoff to fight against drought and flooding, mainly to satisfy demands for water in agriculture and industrial as well as ensuring water supply to the population and protect us of excessive waters.

The Ebro river basin covers an area of 85300 km2, in which nine communities of Spain possess a determinate area within the watershed with extensions: from 765 to 1100 km2 for Communities: Cantabria, Castilla-La Mancha and Valencia, since 2730 a 5000 km2 for the communities of La Rioja and the Vasco Country; values from 8190 to 9300 km2 for Castilla and Leon, Navarra respectively; from 14940 to 42100 km2 for Cataluña and Aragon Communities. By participation as many Communities in the same basin, it is difficult distribution of water resources to users, it is attribution of the Spanish Government to make these functions across organizations of state and of the basin created in this regard, corresponding to the Autonomous Communities managing the resources allocated in water.

The total average runoff of surface water is 15191 hm3 and 2900 hm3 for the underground water, for a total average runoff for the Ebro basin of 18091 hm3; the capacity of reservoirs constructed within the Ebro basin is 7403 hm3 and the current reserve of water reservoirs is of 4522 hm3. Moreover the flow of the river Ebro avenues are very unstable with values up to 13000 m3/second as happened in the year1907, so it is advisable to make inter annual regulations of runoff.

At present demand for short-term water supply to cities and the demands of the agricultural sector relate mainly to the group of users in the basin represented by Aragon, Cataluña and Valencia, who were included as plaintiffs in the water demand to Murcia and Almeria, the latter two not members of the Ebro Basin, but located in an area under a large deficit of water and strategic to economic development in the Mediterranean area. There are also other members of the basin that have water needs but to a lesser amount.

For over 30 years I worked in an institution devoted specifically to water in terms of: projection, planning, construction, operation and research and development, providing technical assistance on irrigation in other countries, so I facilitates the interpretation of the results of the basin Ebro, which notes that the basin still holds water reserves to meet the new demand for water users, but it needs to conduct a more accurate water balance of each of the sub basin to ensure better use of water resources and to achieve an adequate exploitation of sources of surface water and groundwater, is also a need for systematic control of runoff, the quality of water and use of water allocated to users.

It should be even more regulated and unregulated water demand in the agricultural sector since it constitutes the greatest use of water from the basin and make the projection of the hydraulic basin in the short and long term, in order to analyze the works and investment plan and economic power to assess the effectiveness of each of the works to be executed, also is needed to perform a proper management of irrigation water in existing areas, modernization of irrigation systems, an operating plan for the waterworks and water resources, protection of the watershed, ensure water supply to cities and maintaining channels, make a plan for flood control, should the waterworks project considering the minimum flow of the river, respecting the environment.

Water is a vital resource for sustainable development of the country and of humanity, is strategic for Spain prepare for the future and reach a hydraulic harmonious development in different regions and river basins, we must make progress on the construction of hydraulic works, exploitation of water resources, research and development, wastewater reuse, because to achieve a rational use of water resources is necessary to devote more organizational efforts and economic resources as those carried out to date.

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