Majorca Daily Bulletin

News | Balearics

Fresh water blow

Plans to divert a serious drought this summer have been dealt a severe blow by the central administration in Madrid which failed to approve plans to enlarge the Palma desalination plant at a cabinet meeting on Friday. It is vital that the desalination plant is enlarged because otherwise an adequate water supply cannot be assured. The cabinet will not be meeting again until next month by which time Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar's new government will have been sworn in. This could also be bad news for the Balearics because the minister who agreed to plans for the desalination plant to be enlarged may be replaced as part of Aznar's cabinet re-shuffle. The Balearic Government has been demanding that Madrid approves the enlargement because they fear that otherwise the island could suffer severe shortages. The local ministry for agriculture has already approved a 1'000 million peseta project for farmers whose crops have been hit by the severe drought. Farmers say that many are facing financial ruin because of the worst drought for more than 100 years. Some politicians are calling for water to be shipped in from the mainland. This is a costly but quite effective process. The local government was forced to undertake this operation five years ago as a result of another severe drought.

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