Malaga Develops A Prototype Of A Sustainable Desalination Plant Against Drought


Two of the UAM teachers who lead the project, Salvador Merino and Francisco Guzmán, present in the Senate an initiative of general interest that the Andalusian Government already has on the table

The Institute of Domotics and Energy Efficiency (IDEE) has just presented in the Senate a model of a sustainable desalination plant, equipped with floating solar panels, which could cope in the future with periods of drought such as the one currently suffered by the province of Malaga. Two professors from the body dependent on the University of Malaga, Salvador Merino and Francisco Guzmán, have been in charge of transferring the details of an initiative that the Andalusian Government also has on the table.


The objective of the project is to unite the efforts of all administrations in a problem that goes beyond human supply or water care for intensive irrigation in the Axarquia region. In fact, Merino and Guzmán have informed the socialist senator for Malaga, José Aurelio Aguilar, of their intention to present this model to the Vélez-Málaga City Council.


The meeting held in Parliament was attended by Aguilar himself, as spokesman for Universities, as well as the Socialist senator who also acts as spokesman for Innovation, José Latorre, and the one for Science, Alejandro Zubeldia. “It has been a first contact, through the presentation of the project, so that they can know if it is of interest and we can contribute in moving it forward. With the reservations that it is an initiative in development, they rightly propose that it meets the requirements of sustainability of the 2030 Agenda and is also likely to enter the European Next Generation funds”, argues Aguilar.


The senator for Malaga insists that the project is of interest, since “it maintains respect for the environment”, with the exception of the reports that it must subsequently overcome in this regard, and a public purpose, that of starting up a desalination plant “that would come to help supply in general when there is a drought situation. It is a project that looks to the future, not in the short term,” he argues.


For the senators who have received first-hand information about this desalination plant, the problem of the current drought is not just about increasing current water flows. They consider that action must be taken with a global perspective, “betting on crop planning”. Thus, the new farms must attend to such planning «so as not to generate new problems. Even the affected farmers themselves, who have our full support, benefit from orderly growth and thus can guarantee their irrigation », he qualifies.


Subtropical cultivation in the Axarquia

The spokespersons in Cortes underline the importance of a strategic sector for Malaga and the rest of Andalusia such as the subtropical sector. Its annual turnover exceeds 300 million euros. Avocados and mangoes have been a source of oxygen during the pandemic for thousands of families residing mostly in the Axarquia region.


The main flow to supply the Axarqui farms is constituted by the reservoir of Malaga with the highest capacity, that of La Viñuela, which is below 15% at this time of winter. This lack of water resources has made new contributions more necessary than ever. The Board plans to connect two of the Nerja wells of the Chíllar river before the end of this year.


And the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development of the Board delivered last week to the Central Board of Users of the South of Guaro the concession of more than 5 cubic hectometres per year of “reclaimed water”. They will support the demand for some 2,700 hectares of crops in the Axarquia region, as indicated by the Board itself.

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