Here in South Eastern Spain, extending over 150 sq Kilometers, is the largest aquifer in the Province of Almeria, the Sorbas-Tabernas Basin, located in the province of Almeria in Andalucia, Southern Spain.
This aquifer supplies water to 15 towns, numerous small villages with no access to “mains water, and subsistence farmers.
The demarcation includes an area of Special Scientific Interest, Paraje Natural Karst en Yesos de Sorbas, an Eco-system unique in Europe.
The Department of The Environment has allowed 3,600 hectares of land above the aquifer, to be planted with olive trees, an estimated two million trees.
The spring of El Rio De Aguas is the largest and most important spring issuing from the aquifer.
Villagers and subsistence farmers down-stream from the Spring of El Rio De Aguas are now facing the total loss of their livelihoods.
El Rio De Aguas is their one and only access to water. The Eco-system of the Paraje Natural is already compromised.
Some irrigation lines previously used to water fruit trees and vegetable gardens are dry, the trees dead, and the land impossible to use.
These villagers and farmers have nowhere to go. The Eco-system of the Paraje Natural is dying. Rainfall is insufficient to re-charge the aquifer. Underground water levels are continuing to drop.
If the present irrigation of two million olive trees continues we will be without water within two years.
If a further three million olive trees are planted, (now in planning), all life at present enabled by El Rio De Aguas will cease to exist.
In both cases the region is faced by the most extreme form of ECOCIDE* because the water regime will be irreversibly transformed.
There is no life without water. Peaceful enjoyment of the territory will be forever lost.
*Ecocide " the extensive damage to, destruction of or loss of ecosystems of a given territory"