Andalusia Increases Reservoir Capacity for Irrigating Olives

Local authorities accelerate the modernization of critical irrigation infrastructure in Andalusia to combat the effects of climate change.
Tranco de Beas reservoir
By Paolo DeAndreis
Feb. 9, 2023 19:05 UTC

As part of a major mod­ern­iza­tion pro­gram in Spain, the capac­ity of one of Andalusia’s main water reser­voirs has been greatly expanded from 200,000 cubic meters to 511,000 cubic meters.

The newly-inau­gu­rated plant, Mirabueno II, in Palma del Rio, has been her­alded as a cru­cial infra­struc­ture improve­ment to sus­tain agri­cul­tural irri­ga­tion in the region.

Four hun­dred eighty-two farm­ing mem­bers of the com­mu­nity of irri­ga­tors of the canal of the right bank of the Genil river” will have access to the expanded reser­voir. Its avail­abil­ity should cur­tail the impact of the ongo­ing drought in the Mediterranean Basin and improve the local agri­cul­tural community’s resilience to cli­mate change.

Carmen Crespo, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development of the Junta de Andalusia, noted that the new reser­voir would sup­port more than two thou­sand hectares, includ­ing olive groves and cit­rus and almond trees.

The crops sus­tained by the smaller reser­voir ver­sion include cot­ton, corn, water­mel­ons, toma­toes and other veg­eta­bles.

Among the advan­tages of the new reser­voir are the antic­i­pated water qual­ity improve­ments for irri­ga­tion. Mirabueno I tends to be clogged by mud, but Mirabueno II will now be acces­si­ble for bet­ter clean­ing and fil­ter­ing.

By con­tribut­ing €2.2 mil­lion, the Junta cov­ered 55 per­cent of the pro­jec­t’s total costs. Additional pri­vate funds will make up the dif­fer­ence. Crespo noted the impor­tance of pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ships in ren­o­vat­ing the region’s water infra­struc­ture.

Crespo has also stated that the work on the La Colada-Sierra Boyera pipes is on sched­ule.

Our goal is to con­tinue to stay within sched­ule for such works which are so rel­e­vant for the north of the Córdoba province. If all goes smoothly they should be com­pleted before the end of the year,” Crespo noted.

Other works cur­rently planned in the region include the irri­ga­tors com­mu­nity of the Guadalmellato Marsh in Córdoba,” which will ben­e­fit an area of 718 hectares, pro­vid­ing water sav­ings of 26 per­cent.

Such improve­ment is cru­cial in a con­text of struc­tural drought like the one we live in Andalusia,” Crespo noted, as reported by el Dia de Córdoba.

Besides the water reser­voir expan­sions, local author­i­ties sup­port the expan­sion of renew­able energy plants for the farm­ing com­mu­nity.

As reported by Córdoba Buenas Noticias, the min­is­ter cited the new four-megawatt (MW) pho­to­voltaic instal­la­tion as one of the lat­est projects. It will serve sev­eral areas in the province, such as Santaella, Montalbán, La Rambla, Montilla and Puente Genil.

As a whole, Crespo noted that the local author­i­ties invested €100 mil­lion dur­ing the last leg­is­la­ture to mod­ern­ize the irri­ga­tion sys­tems. In her words, such works have allowed Andalusia to save 12.17 cubic hec­tome­tres of water as 43 irri­ga­tion com­mu­ni­ties have already started ben­e­fit­ing.

The local min­is­ter also stressed that new funds are com­ing from the Ministry of Agriculture to cur­tail energy depen­dence on irri­ga­tion, impact­ing more than 24,000 hectares of irri­ga­ble area.


Related Articles