València (EFE).- The Minister of Agriculture, Luis Planas, has expressed to the irrigators of the Tajo-Segura transfer a “message of commitment, tranquility and guarantee” and has assured that “they will be able to continue their task on the one hand with flows of water and on the other hand with the modernization of irrigation».
This was stated at the press conference held after the minister’s meeting with the President of the Generalitat, Ximo Puig, which took place at the Palau de la Generalitat and after which the head of Agriculture was given the smock of a trustee of the Court of Waters.
“Irrigated land represents 23.6% of the total agricultural area in Spain, 3.8 million hectares, but accumulates more than 75% in production,” Planas detailed.
In this sense, he has stated “loud and clear” that the Government of Spain “guarantees irrigators that they can continue doing their work in the future despite the circumstances and climate change”, which has reduced rainfall by 12% since 1980, has noted.
This climatic situation, he added, added to “legal decisions by the European Union and the Supreme Court, have forced the Government of Spain to make decisions.”
“Immense effort” of the Executive in water matters
“If we want to provide the necessary masses of water to carry out irrigation, obviously we have to expand the capacity of use with reclaimed water and desalination,” he stressed, and underlined the “immense effort” of the Executive in this regard, with investments of 22,000 million euros until 2027.
In modernizing irrigation, he added, the Government is going to invest 2,130 million euros, 930 of them from the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism.
During the 2014-2018 period, the Tagus-Segura transfer brought “829 cubic hectometres and, in the 2018-2022 period, 1,229; These are not words, they are facts and they are figures”, the minister highlighted.
Specifically, he has detailed that, in the first and second phase of the plan, 7 projects will be carried out in the Valencian Community for a value of 83.6 million euros already committed, while in the third phase there will be an additional 16.5 million.
Message of “commitment, tranquility and guarantee to irrigators”
For this reason, it has conveyed a “message of commitment, tranquility and guarantee to irrigators” and has ensured that they will continue to have water in two ways: “water flows and the modernization of irrigation systems.”
“We are talking about precision agriculture, improving the use of every drop of water, energy savings with renewable energy, in short, all of this in favor of the farmer”, indicated the head of Agriculture, who referred to irrigation as ” the jewel in the crown» of the agri-food sector.
Regarding the climate emergency and its possible consequences on irrigation, he said he was “a moderate person who has a reasonable vision of things” and added: “We must not scare anyone, but we do have to prepare, and we are able to do it.”
Ximo Puig: Will of “water forever”
For his part, the president of the Generalitat, Ximo Puig, has expressed his desire to obtain “water forever” and has assured that the Consell is not in favor of “neither banderillas nor cheap nationalisms that are not going anywhere.”
In this sense, it has opted for “guaranteeing the irrigation of the Valencian Community the coverage that in any circumstance they will have water forever.”
“We have an opportunity because we have the sea, because we have a generation capacity and we have to be more efficient in the use of water, and that is why the Modernization Plan is fundamental,” Puig stated.
Likewise, he has denounced that “many others in many areas” are not “concerned about the solution but rather encouraging the problem to harvest votes, not to harvest vegetables or fruit” and has concluded that “the citizen knows who is working to ensure their future and who is working to secure their own.”