The ‘Subtropical Bubble’: Impacting Axarquia’s water crisis

Aquifer depletion sparks environmental alarm Image: Shutterstock/ Jesus Noguera photography

ECOLOGISTAS EN ACCIÓN (Ecologists in Action) has raised the alarm about the severe overexploitation of aquifers in the Axarquia region, labelling them as ‘almost extinct.’

The Importance of Aquifers

Aquifers are underground layers of permeable rock, soil, or gravel that can store water. These formations allow water to move through them and can be a vital source of groundwater. Aquifers act as natural reservoirs, holding water that has percolated down from the surface over time, often through precipitation or surface water bodies like rivers and lakes.

Rafael Yus’ Call to Action

Rafael Yus, the coordinator of the environmental group in Axarquía, emphasises the escalating water crisis, blaming the increase in irrigated land for exacerbating the longstanding issue of drought.

He sheds light on the transformation of the landscape over the decades, with native trees making way for tropical crops like avocados and mangoes. Despite becoming the leading producer of these fruits in the EU, the intensive water requirements for cultivation raise significant concerns, particularly as the Viñuela reservoir now sits at a mere 15 per cent of its capacity.

Axarquia’s Water Crossroads: What Lies Ahead

Yus expresses deep concern over the unsustainable growth, dubbing it the ‘subtropical bubble.’ He underscores the urgency for the Junta de Andalucía to intervene, urging a halt to further cultivation expansion and the implementation of sustainable practices to avert the looming water catastrophe.

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Written by

Catherine McGeer

I am an Irish writer who has been living in Spain for the past twenty years. My writing centers around the Costa Cálida. As a mother I also write about family life on the coast of Spain and every now and then I try to break down the world of Spanish politics!

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