The Mar Menor is back to being a green soup and muddy, as was the case in 2016, when the lagoon gave the first warning. The current forecast, after the episode that left in its wake thousands of dead fish, is that the level of chlorophyll continue to grow in the next few days. Javier Gilabert, professor of the Polytechnic University of Cartagena and a member of the scientific committee that advises the Government of murcia (PP and Citizens) in the environmental recovery of the area, has no doubt that the already damaged ecosystem will enter in a critical situation. It has been so done to know this Tuesday to the members of the Government, the local Municipalities and political parties that participated in a follow-up committee on the situation of the lagoon, commissioning after the Dana (depression isolated at high levels), that flooded the area in September.

The reason why the nitrates have been followed in entering into the Mar Menor a month and a half after torrential rains is found in the so-called level of the water table aquifer Quaternary period, which runs through the Campo de Cartagena, which is very high and has overflowed. Or what is the same thing: it has ceased to be underground. Its waters have come to the surface and arrive at the Mar Menor through the ramblas of Miranda and El Albujón. And are highly contaminated by the sediments they deposit the fertilisers used in the irrigated crops of the area. Nitrogen and phosphorus are two of the components that are receiving the ecosystem and contribute to the so-called “eutrophication”, the increase of nutrients that feed the phytoplankton and to become cloudy the water, with the danger that the lack of light leads to the underwater life.

therefore, for the Government of murcia, the priority now is to depress the aquifer, emptying, although the minister of Agriculture, Antonio Luengo, has not explained how to do it, just that you are working against the clock to have ready before the end of the year the law on the comprehensive protection of the Mar Menor which is committed to his team. Among the measures that will include the new standard must be the change of the model in the field of agriculture, in its practical entirety, intensive and irrigated. Luengo speaks of a “conversion of certain crops in certain areas”, the more close to the lagoon, to become farms of ecological agriculture. Although he acknowledges that this form is already present in the Field of Cartagena. There is room for improvement, therefore, the techniques used to prevent further seepage of nitrates into the aquifer, which would end up in the lagoon.

it Also asks for accounts on the irrigation illegal. In the range of about 100 meters next to the Mar Menor may not be growing any, so that has required the Confederación Hidrográfica del Segura to send you the exact delineation of the parcels that “do not have any title of right to the private use of public water for irrigation”. The change in the model, allowed for decades, can cause the regional Government will have to cover compensation in the agricultural sector, has recognised the counselor. Although they will be the farmers who will have to carry out reforms, because “all sectors are clear that they will have to make concessions” if they want to reverse the situation.

Among so much bad news, only a positive fact: the saltwater lagoon has recovered its normal levels of oxygen, and Gilabert ruled out that it will repeat episodes as dantean as the left the beaches of San Pedro del Pinatar covers of tons of dead fish. This Tuesday, however, there were also sea bass stranded on the beaches of Portman, in The municipality of la Union, another area victim of the pollution, in this case, of the spoils. According to Luengo, it is fish from a fish farm located in the waters of the province of Alicante that would have been killed by a bacterial infection and would not have been removed properly. The department has opened an investigation.

This Wednesday at 18:00 hours, is scheduled for a massive demonstration through the streets of Cartagena, under the slogan “SOS Mar Menor”, convened initially by residents ‘ associations and environmental groups and have been adding in recent days, groups of all kinds, including political parties and the director himself, who already was in the protests in Murcia and Santiago de la Ribera, because ensures that it is also a “concerned” and is “implicated in the problem.” On Monday, the promoters of the march presented to the Ministry for the Ecological Transition of 350,000 signatures calling for “effective measures” to recover the lagoon.


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