Rescue plan for Ibiza’s water reservoirs

October 7th, 2008 - 4:51 pm Posted in ibiza news | Comments (0)

Climate change isn’t sparing Ibiza – in the Balearic Island’s draft water plan (Plan Hidrologico de Baleares), that the state government is currently putting together, their projected estimates show that by the year 2027 the gap between water demand and the supply of natural water will drift appreciably further apart.

Experts from the Ministry for the Environment have calculated that the supplies of the ground water table on Ibiza will decline by 37.8 percent over the next 20 years. Formentera is projected to have a reduction of an incredible 71.4 percent. During the same time period they also project an increase in demand for drinking water of 21.7 percent on Ibiza and 92.4 percent on Formentera.

According to data supplied by the Ministry for the Environment, seven of sixteen underground reservoirs on Ibiza show a chronic deficit – those in Santa Agnes, Pla de Sant Antoni, Cala Llonga, Roca Llisa, Cala Tarida, Jesus and Serra Grossa. On Formentera the situation around the reservoir beneath La Savina is considered critical. Experts see the main causes of the problem as the great increase in the number of wells, which is a direct result of the massive number of new homes over recent years.

waterLast August the underground reservoirs on Ibiza were filled to just 52 percent. Over the past few years they showed their lowest supplies back in August 2004 and September 2002, when they barely reached one third of their total capacity. Information provided by the Balearic Islands Ministry for the Environment shows that permits for 364 private wells have been issued on the Pine Islands in the past three years alone. Each of these wells may extract a maximum of 200 cubic metres of groundwater to the surface each year.

What these statistics do not include are the admittedly very few wells drilled for industrial purposes that also extract much more groundwater. The general director for water management on the Balearic Islands, Isidre Canelles (Unio Mallorquina, UM), says, “The situation of the underground water table could be worse, but we will not be able to continue pumping water at current levels.”

Other alternative sources of drinking water will have to pick up the slack. Both the Balearic Islands state government and the central government in Madrid are seeking solutions through the desalination of seawater. Additionally they are working on optimising the use of treated wastewater in agriculture. In order to secure the water supply twenty years from now the central government has also long been planning the construction of a desalination plant in Santa Eularia. However due to a lack of funding the project has been put on hold and no one is certain when it will be built.

When the various desalination plants are finally built they are supposed to be connected to the island-wide network of water mains. This should hopefully ensure, for example, that the Sant Josep municipality, whose residents have complained of salty tap water for years, will finally receive high quality drinking water. However, this plan has been talked about for years and it has remained talk for so long that many residents don’t believe it will ever be realised.

The ministry calculates that the agricultural sector will be making the largest contribution to ease the burden on the groundwater reserves. At the moment on the Pine Islands just 0.28 cubic hectometres of treated wastewater each year are used to water the fields. They estimate that this figure will increase to over 13 cubic hectometres by the end of 2027.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Related posts:

  1. Ibiza News: Can Misses II – political infighting over construction and equipment The planned new hospital, Can Misses II, is already bringing...
  2. Ibiza News: Still no solution for flooded underpasses A year after the serious flooding of underpasses on the...
  3. Ibiza Conference centre hosts first international event Under the watchful eyes of Balearic Islands Minister President Francesc...
  4. Ibiza plans to modernise the two historic markets Ibiza towns’ authorities are planning to modernise the two historic...
  5. British Consulate The great and good of the British community were out...
Tags: , ,