Problem of water exploitation in Spain.

Juan Garcia R. Problem of water exploitation in Spain.

Alicante 12/08/2008, Spain.

To solve the problem of water in Spain is needed primarily a water policy that will work simultaneously and prioritized at: hydraulic construction, operation and maintenance of water sources and networks driving, investigations on water and irrigation, water supply to cities, flood control, water quality control, energy saving, protection of watersheds. The water problem is much more complex and dynamic of how this is resolved and requires financing, human resources, greater control and hydraulic will.

The storing capacity of Spain is 54 308 hm3, with a current volume of water reservoirs 27579 hm3, representing 51% of the capacity of the reservoir. The biggest user of water in Spain is the agricultural sector, with an irrigated area about 3500000 has, for a consumption of 75% of the water demand of the country, reflecting that proper exploitation of water for irrigation may be possibility to save water and energy.

The over-exploitation of groundwater, the climate change, the lack of rain in some regions and the insufficient control of aquifers cause that the groundwater increase the content of salt, the contamination and water reserves will be reduced with a consequent increase in pumping costs for water that has drawn more depth, hence the importance of a rational and controlled exploitation of our aquifers. Spain has a high dependence on oil and agriculture is a major consumer of energy, so that proper exploitation of agricultural machinery and irrigation equipment will allow a large energy savings.

One of the great problems that we have now is water pollution, causing by industrial, agricultural and urban development, so it is necessary to control more precise: the surface and underground sources, economic development plans of the country where water is a limiting factor and the wastewater treatment. A key aspect in the rational use of water is the redistribution of water resources from areas with surplus to areas with prolonged water shortage, as is the typical case of the Mediterranean zone. Also a proper water management enables to save water of irrigation and reduce energy consumption, maintaining of: channels, irrigation systems and sources of supply, allow better efficient of our water resources.

Another problem which affects the exploitation of water resources, is that the water sources and hydraulic systems are calculated correctly according to the likelihood that require farms, in the case of the province of Alicante, the water deficit is 350 hm3 for an average year, 600 hm3 for a half dry year and about 700 hm3 for a dry year, reflecting that if the water needs of the province and waterworks have been calculated for an average year, during a period of time 100 years of them in 50 years we will ensure the water needs of all users and in another 50 years we will have difficulty in securing water supplies of individual economic sectors in the province.

It is necessary for a greater state control of surface and groundwater resources of Spain , since it enables a more rational use and affectivity of water, which ensures sustainable development of water, so essential for the population, agriculture, tourism, industry, energy production and environmental conservation. It has made great efforts in modernizing systems, wastewater reuse, maintenance of water distribution networks and desalination of seawater, but much remains to be done.

Also another major problem is that different waterworks have before his execution, the necessary economic studies at level scheme, in determining: the recovery time of investment, the major economic technical indicators, energy costs, environmental impact, the influence of benefit obtained in the current development and prospects for the zone, the feasibility of the works.

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