July 14, 2020

The European Parliament urges Spain to put an end to illegal Doñana wells | Society



Consensus of the European institutions: Spain has to face once and for all the problem of the illegal wells that surround Doñana, which are damaging one of the most important protected areas in the EU. The European Parliament has approved on Thursday a report in which it asks the Government to close these captures that for years have been depleting the aquifer of which Doñana lives and stop "immediately" the theft of water from farmers. With this vote, the investigation opened by the European Parliament to evaluate some complaints about the park's situation concludes.

The report of this Thursday joins the complaint that the European Commission has lodged against Spain before the Court of Justice of the EU for not fighting against the theft of water in the environment of this unique enclave, located in the province of Huelva. The recommendations, approved within the Petitions Committee of the European Parliament, do not have legal force, but policy. And they will be an important argument in the process against Spain that has opened European justice.

The European Parliament also closes the door in its report to the project to transform the existing gas field in the subsoil of Doñana into a storehouse of that fossil fuel. He asks that all permits be suspended, recalls the problems that have occurred with the Castor gas warehouse and points out that it is not a strategic infrastructure.

But the problem that spends more space on the report (which is part of an inspection carried out by several MEPs in Doñana in September) is that of water theft. The Petitions Committee requests that the police presence and security in the area increase to avoid this theft of water and closes the possibility to initiate a process of "legalization of the wells", as it has tried to include the PP without success in the final report . On the other hand, an amendment of the PP has gone ahead, with the support of the Socialists, who ask for a transfer of 19.9 cubic hectometres from the basin of Tinto, Odiel and Piedras for the farmers of Doñana.

In the land surrounding Doñana it is estimated that there are a thousand illegal entries (according to the data of the WWF organization). In spite of the files initiated by the Administration and the denunciations of the Civil Guard, the water continues to be extracted without control. The Guadalquivir Hydrographic Confederation has ended up declaring as overexploited part of the aquifer Due to this problem. The European Parliament recalls in the report the importance of "reducing water stress" by eliminating "the illegal and uncontrolled extraction of water".

Florent Marcellesi, MEP of the Greens who participated in the Doñana inspection, has highlighted the importance of the recommendations approved on Thursday: "The illegal and excessive use of water endangers the Doñana national park."

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