Spanish authorities crackdown on illegal wells
Spain has been cracking down on the illegal driling of water holes across the country, many of which are causing a danger to people as they are not properly filled in after use.
The authorities say water is more and more becoming a precious resource and monitoring and controlling underground and surface aquifers is a major priority for the Civil Guard’s enironmental section.
Over recent months, 107 people have either been arrested or investigated as alleged perpetrators of crimes against natural resources and the environment, crimes of water distraction-usurpation and water fraud crimes.
A total of 1,800 inspections have been carried out for the location of illegal wells and investigation of illegal water withdrawals, in which 1,457 illegal facilities have been detected. Likewise, 2,198 infractions have been formulated, most of them classified as breaches of the water regulations but also the regulations on mines and urban planning and land planning.
“The recent acceleration of climate change together with the exponential change of crops that have been occurring especially in certain areas of the Spanish geography, accompanied by a general rise in temperatures, especially in the Mediterranean, has given way to an over-exploitation of the fundamental water resource,” said a spokes-man.
One of the most commonly used methods is the drilling of wells for groundwater collection; this illegal activity has led to multiple per-forations throughout the Spanish geography, which in turn constitute an important risk for people and animals, once the activity has been abandoned.
The operation remains open with continued inspec-tions.