Plans for constructing a desalination plant in the Axarquía have moved on with the regional government now studying plans from three companies competing for the contract. Pressure to provide more water for the area east of Málaga has become more intense with the reservoir at La Viñuela holding only about 10 per of its capacity and no forecast of prolonged rainfall on the horizon.
The new facility is expected to be built west of Torre del Mar along the bank of River Vélez on a plot south of the N-340 motorway. Aspiring contractors have been told it must produce 25 cubic hectometres per year, with a second phase increasing this to 37.5 cubic hectometres and with two-thirds used for irrigation and a third for human consumption. For comparison, the Lake Viñuela reservoir can hold a maximum of 164 cubic hectometres.
The cost is estimated at €100 million with a build time for the plant and its associated infrastructure of 30 months. Work is expected to start late next year and the desalinated water is likely to come on line during 2026.
Meanwhile, the Junta de Andalucía was expected to announce is third drought decree at the end of April. President Juanma Moreno called on the government to take advantage of the imminent Spanish presidency of the European Union to promote a water policy which is sensitive to areas of structural drought such as Andalucía.