With less than 3% of its surface flooded, the mayor of Daimiel asked the Ministry of Ecological Transition more than a week ago to make “appropriate decisions” to guarantee the conservation of the park. Leopoldo Sierra thus asked for a work plan to “reverse” the clinical situation of the National Park, and again asked for a transfer that, he claimed, has the support of the “majority” of the Board of the Tablas de Daimiel.
Manuel Carrasco, senior technician of the National Park, declared on Radio Daimiel that there were already less than 60 hectares flooded in the wetland, this past August 24. The flooded area specified the technician, it corresponded to the “mother” of the Guadiana river, while the situation was “quite hard” and with “bad prospects” until the end of the summer. Carrasco has linked the situation to the high temperatures of the recent heat wave, with temperatures of up to 44 degrees. The situation, said the technician, is similar to that of last summer, although with a faster drying rate.
Carrasco also ruled out the recurrence of underground fires, as the area of peat bogs, which is the one that undergoes the self-combustion process, has become humidified. The technician also insists on the idea of the mayor of Daimiel, to enable a transfer from the Tajo-Segura, but also requests the activation of emergency soundings, based on what is explained in the Master Plan of the park. For the technician, the solution is the “structural recovery of the natural resources of Alto Guadiana”. “It sounds unreal, but it should be a goal that should not be renounced, since it is what originated the wetland that we are now fighting to conserve,” he added in the interview to the local media.
The technician also referred to the emergency flooding that was achieved by activating the wells last May, which made it possible to ensure the breeding of red duck chickens in the Cañada Mendoza area. However, he also spoke of the “counterpart” that this resource entailed: that most of the park is left “dry”, which affects the farmhouse, an “icon” of the flora in the National Park.
Refusal of the transfer by Ecologists
However, from Ecologists in Action they insist on their anti-trash stance. This is confirmed by Rafael Gosalvez Rey, representative of the environmental associations of Castilla-La Mancha in the park’s Board of Trustees. “The problems of a basin must be solved from the same basin, not from another that has other added problems,” says Gosalvez, who insists that “it would not be ethical or legitimate to steal water from another basin to put it in another that is not going to be of no use, “he says.
For Ecologists the underlying problem is agribusiness, the “intensification” of agriculture. “What is the use of transferring water if the basic problem is not solved and that is that we are facing a territory in which agriculture has been the one that has taken over the reins of water,” he says. Therefore, he explains, the best thing would be “to apply article 155 and remove the powers of Agriculture in Castilla-La Mancha, but not only here, but also in Murcia.”
“The problem is the incompetence and the governability of the PP and PSOE that have bet in favor of agriculture, because it is not time for intensive agriculture and the situation is getting worse. We need a long-term solution,” emphasizes the ecologist. In addition, he says, the prospects are worse than decades ago. “In the current agrarian structure, it is the woody crops that have become dominant, the pistachio, the trellis life,” he says. It is something similar to what happened with corn or beets, but with the difference, he explains, that woody crops are a priority and their risk remains.
“We have gotten worse and the test is the Tablas de Daimiel. The hydroindicator is the ‘Ojos del Guadiana’, that there was only a small moment in which water reappeared in the area, but nothing to do with what was in his moment, “he emphasizes. He blames agribusiness again, in this case, in relation to chemicals. “The agrochemicals have all ended up coming out in the Tablas de Daimiel, after forty years of intensive agriculture.”
The situation is such, he regrets, that not even fish die. “Because here there is no water, there is nothing that can die,” he laments. The only solution proposed by environmental associations is to stop watering. “There is no time for a friendly transition. We should stop watering now. But no one is going to dare to do it,” he assures, although he concedes that the Guadiana Hydrographic Confederation is the “only one that is taking the bull by the horns” .
“The only solution would be to leave the drought to show its ravages and thus, perhaps, someone would dare to make a decision. It is the only hope we have left,” he says. Therefore, he insists to conclude: “We cannot mortgage a basin that is already mortgaged like the Tagus, due to the same situation in which this river is found. The transfer has to come from the trellised vineyard, pistachio and almond”, he concludes .