Spain is running out of water - also due to German stinginess
There is less and less usable groundwater in Spain. This is also due to the fact that German consumers prefer meat, vegetables and fruit from Spain to the more expensive local produce.
Image: imago images
Andalusia is wheall re the contrasts come together: Heavy industry at the port, intensive agriculture right next to a nature park and dreamlike beaches. Now, water from the country's longest river, the Tagus, is to be brought to Huelva because the Segura (pictured here) is polluted.
In Germany, convictions and reality often diverge at the supermarket shelf, believes Markus Schneider, head of the medium-sized Rhineland fruit distribution company Frutania: "On the one hand, consumers state in surveys that they prefer local organic products and are also prepared to pay more for them, but when they are then actually faced with low-priced raspberries and strawberries from Spain, they prefer to grab them there." Especially in the Spanish province of Huelva, this has a concrete impact: There is less and less usable groundwater there.
95 percent of Spain's berry production comes from the province, which suffers from extreme drought. There, in Andalusia, all the contrasts come together: Heavy industry at the port, intensive agriculture right next to a nature park and dreamlike beaches.
Now, water from the country's longest river, the Tagus, is to be brought to Huelva, where the Segura River, heavily polluted by heavy industry, can no longer be used as a source.
Image: imago images
Extensive refineries at the port of Huelva in Spain. Many ships with oil call here.
A political dispute over water has been raging for many years. The thousands of harvest workers in Huelva, who are brought from Africa every year, wander disoriented through the villages, sometimes living in stables or huts and are not integrated into the still traditional Andalusian society. German media have also repeatedly pointed out the sometimes inhumane working conditions.
The EU, which is providing nearly 20 billion euros in agricultural aid to Spain from 2023 to 2027, has sanctioned the various Spanish governments several times in the past for their lax handling of groundwater. 60 million euros in fines have already had to be paid. Greenpeace estimates that only about 60 percent of Spain's groundwater can still be used because of subsidence and pollution.
WirtschaftsWoche published at 19.03.2023