Benidorm Mayor regrets that the Ministry keeps the irrigation pond in Serra Gelada blocked to store purified water

August 05, 2022
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Benidorm Mayor, Toni Pérez, regretted that the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development, Climate Emergency and Ecological Transition maintains the blockade on the construction project of an irrigation pond in Benidorm to store purified water for later use by the irrigators of the Shire.

A raft, he recalled, projected next to the Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) and the Serra Gelada tertiary treatment plant, and that "has been waiting for more than four and a half years for the approval of the Ministry". 

Toni Pérez has made these statements after the Extraordinary Meeting of the Marina Baixa Water Consortium held this week in Alicante, during which he inquired about the administrative status of this project. In this regard, the technicians of the Diputación have transferred that at this time, after attending to various requests from the Ministry and at the request of the head of the Serra Gelada Natural Resources Management Plan (PORN), they are working on an environmental impact report for the Project. 

The mayor has indicated that “we hope that with this procedure the long-awaited unblocking of the project will arrive, which is aligned with the environmental and efficient management of water that has been the hallmark of this region for decades; and that, in addition, it would translate into significant economic savings for City Councils and citizens in times of drought or scarcity by being able to use that purified water stored and that comes from tertiary treatment for irrigation.

Toni Pérez has stressed that "the project, promoted at the end of 2017 by the Consortium and financed by the Diputación de Alicante, foresaw the construction of two ponds of these characteristics to improve water management in the region: one in La Nucía and another that of Benidorm. However, despite all the time that has elapsed and the efforts made by the Consortium, almost five years later only the La Nucía pond has been built, while the Serra Gelada pond is still waiting”. 

At this point, he stressed that "it is incomprehensible the permanent hits that the Ministry is putting on the Serra Gelada raft"; a raft that "would allow the collection of 21,000 cubic meters of purified water" and that, consequently, "would relieve us a great deal" when "things come worse and there is a reduction or deficit of white water". 

As Toni Pérez has detailed, there are periods or times of the year, fundamentally after a rainy episode, in which the production of treated water exceeds the volume of consumption by irrigators, so, given the lack of storage, part of that treated and desalinated water that the irrigators do not consume ends up being lost in the sea”. Although this discharge "has no environmental impact, we are doing without some necessary water resources at other times of the year." 

Hence, "the construction of this pond was considered a priority, in which we will be able to store 21,000 cubic meters of reclaimed water that will be injected into the network of the Canal Bajo del Algar -which supplies six municipalities- when the irrigators need it".

After insisting on "the time that has been lost", the mayor stressed that it is time "to make investments and claim them".