The problem with Mar Menor is the excess of nutrients
The Third Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Environmental Transformation and Demographic Challenge (METICO), Teresa Ribera, confirmed in the Chamber of Deputies that “It makes no sense to waste public resources on money laundering.” Mar Meno caser “if not processed from the root.”
Ribera stressed that the environmental regeneration of the Mar Menor is a priority in Mitico’s policies and a “state of the state” for the entire government, and in his intervention he stressed the degradation problems of Lake Murcian, whose jurisdiction is. “A disaster was happening in slow motion before our eyes.”
After analyzing, in the light of the latest report by the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO), the causes of the new cycle of mass mortality of fish and other species of lakes due to the lack of oxygen caused by the discharge of fertilizer nitrate from intensive agriculture and illegal irrigation Ribera, he noted the commitment made Two years ago for the civil society in Campo de Cartagena, when he visited the area after the damage caused by Dana in 2019.
“I then committed myself with neighbors, farmers, businessmen, scientists, and mayors to distinguishing between legal and illegal farming, to agreeing a comprehensive strategy to restore the Mar Menor ecosystem, improving research and monitoring the state of the lake and taking into account social concerns when proposing solutions,” remembered.
cut from the roots
Repeating the call for sincere cooperation between the departments, Ribera emphasized the need to eliminate the real cause of the degradation of the salt lake at the source. “We must stop spills at the source,” he said. It is not enough to hide the nitrates and nutrients that are produced,” compressed.
He was referring to the so-called zero-dumping plan promoted by the recent PP government, all of which focused on reducing the pollutant load in fertilizers, recycling and returning to the water cycle. This approach does not solve the problem.
“There is no point in wasting public resources in whitewashing a situation if it is not addressed in the first place.” pointed out. Science has identified the Mar Menor problem as a “book” case due to an overload of nutrients that far exceed the ecosystem’s ability to absorb them.
The Minister announced the extension of the current contract between the Directorate General of Coasts and the Spanish Oceanographic Institute to improve the control of the lake’s physical parameters and to strengthen permanent scientific monitoring of the state of the salt lake.
He also stressed the importance of enhancing inter-departmental cooperation and integrating civil society in discussion and accountability forums, as well as collecting their observations and suggestions, in order to achieve the participation of all in restoring the Mar Menor.
The minister also presented to the spokespersons of the parliamentary blocs, the details of the comprehensive recovery strategy for the Mar Menor launched by the ministry, the initial investment of which is 317 million euros. Based on the best available scientific knowledge, it includes measures to protect the hydraulic public domain derived from declaring the aquifer in chemical danger.
Among others, veto the use of organic and inorganic fertilizers within 1,500 meters of the lake shore, limit the number of crops, planting agricultural exploitation registry, irrigation water use monitoring systems, control and monitor mineral fertilization in irrigation, and create cooperating entities For inspection, oversight and oversight.
Dialogue and social engagement
Within this strategy, he also highlighted projects for runoff control and flood defense, an issue of paramount importance to the neighborhood in the vicinity of the Mar Menor, as well as the creation of rolling areas that act as a cushion.
In total, more than 390 hectares will be worked on and 216 hectares of rolling mills will be established, along with the restoration of 13 kilometers of riverbeds. Within this line, nature-based solutions, “green” filters, and environmental re-naturalization measures will play a leading role.
He promised to meet with representatives of neighborhood associations and environmental organizations on a monthly basis so that the state of the lake would not return to normal standards.
Ribera warned that the Mar Menor water management does not accept further developments, neither urban nor agricultural. The only viable solutions to ensure lake recovery must adhere to scientific recommendations, ensure respect for the law, and encourage institutional cooperation and active dialogue with the community.
Groundwater is exposed to chemical danger
In her speech, the Minister clarified the long list of actions that Miteco has already taken within the policies to restore the Mar Menor. He highlighted in particular the declaration of the Cartagena aquifer in case of chemical hazards due to excess nitrate.
The agreement, which was signed in July 2020 by the Board of Directors of the Segura Hydrographic Union with a vote against the government of the Murcia region, enables the adoption of precautionary measures to avoid spills, the control of which is under the independent authorities.
In addition, the union identified about 8,500 hectares of irrigated land with signs of illegal water use and opened a file of penalties for more than 7,800 hectares of that land. Almost half a thousand files have been submitted so far, 207 of which have been sent to the Supreme Prosecutor of Murcia and a hundred to the territorial government.
In this sense, Ribera lamented that up to this point it had not notified the Moorsian executive authority to raise one hectare of illegal irrigation, nor to return the hectare to its original condition, since it is obliged to implement its own legislation.
The third deputy also highlighted 661 files open to Desalopraduras, with 211 closed and 55 dismantled. And they had started – he said – 166 files for treatment plants since 2020. In addition, at this time, Rambla del Albojon pumping measures and coastal protection measures such as returning Puerto Mayor to the general overland marine domain, and others were implemented in the recently approved plan to protect the coast.