Spain: If it does not rain in January, the Lorca field will halve its crops

Plantations in the Lorca field will have to be reduced by 40 to 50%, starting in January, if the weather does not change and the water is expected to be needed for the first half of 2018. That is the message that the responsible of the Community of Irrigators of Lorca are going to transmit in the information meeting that is called for Thursday (October 26) from 20.30 in the halls of the restaurant El Faroli, next to the shrine of the Virgin of the Huertas.

The drought situation affects more than 10,000 farmers, most of them belonging to the traditional irrigation system, as well as to horticultural companies that would also see their market commitments abroad, especially with Europe, altered. This would also mean the loss of hundreds of jobs, which would remain in the air waiting for better times.

The positive part, that will be explained in detail at the meeting by the leaders of the Community of Irrigators is that, at least until December, irrigation water is guaranteed. It is thus for the 11 hm3 available, of which, six of them belong to the marsh of Bridges, that until the moment had not been used, thinking about what could happen and finally has happened.

With these 11 hm3, according to sources of the Lorca community, you can face the crops that are planted and carry out the harvest of artichoke, broccoli and lettuce that are already planted or about to do so. Harvesting lettuce and broccoli ends the calendar year.

The problem will come, according to the same sources, from January until the end of the first half of 2018, when the lettuce, broccoli or onion plantations begin again.

For those six months the community of irrigators of Lorca could only have about 20 hm3 of water, when the needs, compared to other years, are twice, based on the crops that are made. These 20 hm3 would be water from wells and the Aguilas desalination plant, mainly because the contributions from both the basin and the Tajo-Segura Trasvase would remain zero, as has hitherto been the case. Lorca irrigators have contracted annually 23 hm3 of water from the Aguilas desalination plant for irrigation of more than 20,000 hectares of land, many of which are still not supplied due to lack of infrastructure.

The main reason for Thursday’s meeting is to report on the serious situation faced by the lack of water resources and try to find solutions. It is intended to warn the farmers of the “harsh reality” and to know what they are facing if they decide to start new plantations from January on, especially next spring, without any guarantee of that can irrigate.
This type of meetings will continue to be carried out by the Central Union of Irrigators among the approximately 90 communities of irrigators that are distributed throughout the region to hear their opinions and to see among all the measures that can be carried out, among which are not discard the mobilizations.

The community of irrigators of Lorca also informed that, during the days 25 and 26 of October, water for irrigation will not be supplied .

Farmers in general, representatives of cooperatives and all those involved in agriculture are called upon to attend the meeting on 26 October.