Water woes in Axarquia region

Farmers are warning of the threat to agriculture in Axarquia from the lack of rainfall.

The scarcity of water has led to clashes with the authorities seeking to restrict the use of the water supply. 

Farmers’ leaders have claimed water levels are a metre and a half lower than the former record low, seriously threatening the local economy. 

Measures to counteract the problem have included using recycled water and infrastructure improvements of €6 million promised by the Malaga Provincial Council. 

In a letter to the Junta de Andalucia regional government’s representative in Granada, Almuñecar’s mayor Trinidad Herrera Lorente, spoke of being “on the brink of catastrophe.”

She said that water was desperately needed and that if didn’t arrive in the next 15 days, she argued that the Rio Verde would “die of thirst.”

Almuñecar’s economy reflects the larger economy of Axarquia and Andalucia as a whole – tourism based, but with a strong agricultural backbone. 

The area is renowned for its fertility, producing harvests of avocados and mangoes alongside the ubiquitous olives.

However, much of Axarquian agriculture is still highly reliant on irrigation, used since the Moorish era.

Long term solutions being considered by the Junta are the construction of dams in the Chillar, Algorrobo and Torrox rivers.  

Herrera has questioned why emergency measures promised by the Junta in recent weeks are taking so long to come to fruition. Severe drought has wracked the province this year, endangering industry from Colmenar in the west to the Costa Tropical in the east.

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