It’s official, Estepona will have a desalination plant to cope with the drought
Last week in the municipality of Estepona there was a clash of accusations between PSOE and PP over who would pay for the desalination plant and whether or not the water bill would increase, ahead of the plenary session which was to take place on 18 December.
The Plenary of the Estepona City Council has approved the new Water Infrastructure Works Plan and the redistribution of the program of works planned in the current water infrastructure improvement fee for the period 2021-2030, incorporating new necessary actions; as well as the temporary extension of this fee until the end of the concession of the public water and sewerage service, which is carried out by the company Hidralia, which will occur in 2042.
This is a measure derived from the declaration by the Junta de Andalucía, last October, of the entry into a situation of severe shortage and exceptional drought in the western Costa del Sol system. These works include actions in water catchments, in guaranteeing water supply, with the project for the acquisition and installation of a containerised seawater desalination plant with a system of photovoltaic panels; as well as actions in remote control and telecontrol and water quality of the supply services and in drinking water pumping stations.
ll the works planned up to 2042 in this plan are estimated at a total of 43 million euros, amounts that will be adjusted at each moment with the corresponding execution projects. This does not exclude the possibility of the City Council obtaining other supra-municipal financing for the execution of these projects.
These projects will be carried out according to their need and urgency in order to guarantee the supply and service to citizens. In this sense, the installation of the desalination plant is a priority within this municipal action plan. In this respect, the municipality of Estepona already has the project drawn up by the company Hidralia, which consists – initially – of the construction of a containerised desalination plant at the mouth of the Castor River.
It is a water treatment plant that reduces costs and implementation time as it consists of prefabricated modules. This infrastructure, which could be operational in the short term if the necessary authorisations are obtained, will be available within a few months. In addition, it will be powered by photovoltaic panels that will enable it to achieve practical energy self-sufficiency throughout the water treatment process. It envisages an original production of 20,000 m3/day, which can be increased to 30,000 m3/day in the future. To this end, two 10,000 m3 modules will be installed, which can be expanded with a third.