Spanish government approves €2.19 billion package to alleviate drought conditions

Spanish government approves €2.19 billion package to alleviate drought conditions

Image of a farmer driving a tractor in Spain. Credit: Fotokostic/

In an effort to alleviate the drought conditions currently affecting around 80 per cent of Spanish territory, the Council of Ministers today, Thursday, May 11, approved a package of measures worth £2.19 billion.

The objective is to alleviate the situation in Spain by focusing on two key areas: direct support to the primary sector and the promotion of hydraulic works.

Teresa Ribera and Luis Planas, the ministers of Ecological Transition, and of Agriculture, respectively, presented this latest package, accompanied by Isabel Rodríguez, the Government Spokesperson.

They detailed the actions to be carried out in each field, highlighting the fact that this is unprecedented. In the case of the works, the ministers said they hoped to accelerate the plans in order to improve access to water.

With regard to the primary sector, direct aid worth €636 million has been approved. From this total, €355 million will be allocated for livestock, with €276.7 million going to agriculture, and €5 million to beekeeping.

Another €53 million will also be returned for the 2023 IBI, a measure that will benefit around 200,000 farms, as reported by

Aid for contracting agricultural insurance against drought has also increased. A total of €40.48 million will be contributed to this objective.

Planas highlighted that the financing of the cost of the policy will be extended to the legal maximum of 70 per cent, which could relate to losses from dry land, intensive herbaceous, or olive groves.

He pointed out that insurance companies have so far assessed losses of more than €300 million, which can be paid in a matter of weeks.

There will also be fiscal measures included in the plan, allowing exemptions from Personal Income Tax and Companies for PAC aid, which extends the deadline for submitting aid applications until June 30.

More than 730,000 workers will see the payment of Social Security contributions deferred for five months. An extension will be considered in the reduction of labourers to access the agricultural unemployment benefit. The minimum number of real contribution days to access the agricultural subsidy will be reduced to 10.

In the case of waterworks, the measures included in the package for hydraulic and fiscal infrastructures related to water reach a total value of €1.4 billion.

Ribera explained that almost €700 million will be allocated to ‘priority’ actions in the hardest-hit basins to improve water resources. €36 million will also be allocated to ‘immediate actions’, and an agreement will be made with Acuamed to the value of €609 million.

Likewise, there will be an exemption from charges to the primary sector for €57 million. Tax aid will be given to irrigators who in 2023 suffer a reduction in their water supply.

An exemption will be applied to the regulation fee and to the water use rate, which will be 50 per cent if the decrease in the provision is from 40 per cent to 60 per cent, and 100 per cent if it exceeds 60 per cent.

In addition, the indirect beneficiaries of the regulation works of the Guadalquivir basin are directly exempt from 50 per cent of said quotas.

The minister remarked that works of interest ‘corresponding to other regional administrations’ will be carried out. Desalination plants will be given priority in the Axarquía area of ​​Malaga, as well as in Almería, Catalonia and Alicante.

Each of these actions exceeds €200 million, although the ministers warned that they will not be operational for this summer. The time horizon for the works to become a reality is estimated to be in 2026 or 2027.

In order to reduce the pressure on the Doñana park the pumps that supply the Matalascañas complex on the coast, through a connection with Tinto, Odiel and Piedras, will be replaced.

This comes after Matalascañas was pointed out from Brussels as responsible for the pressure suffered by the Doñana aquifer, along with the illegal wells used for agriculture.

Today’s decree also modified the Water Law to promote the reuse of urban water. The idea is for it to grow by 150 per cent, from the current 400 Hm3 per year to around 1,000 Hm3 per year in 2027. This should eventually represent 20 per cent of the volume of water resources destined to supply populations.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at