More than 15,000 growers from Murcia, Alicante and Almeria are holding a demonstration in Madrid on Wednesday to demand action to solve the water shortage affecting the agricultural sector.
Marching under the motto ‘Defend the garden of Europe’ they are urging the government to find viable and sustainable solutions to the crisis that is threatening the future of an industry that is vital to the social and economic fabric of the region.
Protesters will hand out 2,500 tonnes of free fruits and vegetables in the Spanish capital before heading to the Agriculture Ministry to hand the government a series of concrete demands for action.
These include immediate measures to alleviate the shortage, such as the opening of wells in the Segura Basin and relief irrigation for the worst affected areas.
They are also calling on the government to implement the proposals set out the Levantine Water Manifesto, which was published in October 2017 and already has the backing of the regional authorities in Valencia, Murcia and Alicante.
The manifesto calls for the government to guarantee long-term projects such as the construction of the Tajo-Segura Aqueduct and new desalination plants and the implementation of a fairer water tariff system.