Reactions to the Guadiaro reservoir project announced here last week have not been slow in coming in. According to Agaden, the environmentalist pressure group, it is no more than a 'hot air balloon' launched by the administration. "We won't believe it until we see the project," said it's Jimena coordinator, Quico Rebolledo. His group and the Grupo de Trabajo del Valle del Genal are sure it will not be built. "The Agencia Andaluza del Agua (AAA) can have 1 or 15 projects for a reservoir but if it is not included in the Plan Hidrológico Nacional it is not validated; and this one is not included," said Agaden's spokesman. He pointed out that a reservoir on the Genal and the Hozgarganta rivers were included in the national plan but these were set aside as a result of>
pressure from what he calls 'social agencies'. To build a 120 Hm2 reservoir downriver from Jimena, he added, is just not viable because the terrain will not allow it. "To do so would flood the riverbed just where they want to use it for agricultural purposes," added Rebolledo, who pointed out too that from the environmental standpoint it would severly impact the existing forest. He asked the AAA for "transparency" and asked the agency to "put the project on the table" so that it can be debated.
For its part, the community of agriculturalists of the Guadiaro valley said it was "very pleased" with the plan for a reservoir. "We think the project is magnificent, a reality for an idea that was proposed in the 1990s by the Mesa de Cítricos (orange growers group), representatives of Asaja (a union of farmers) and the area's growers. It was inviable back then but it is evident the the need for water has prevailed," said the Tesorillo grower's association spokesman, Martín Blanco, who added, "At last, the project about which so much has been said could become a reality. Referring to the environmental groups, Blanco said, "They have complained for a long time about how the river lacks water and the fish die, so when this great water container is built, those problems will disappear."
For his part, the Mayor of Jimena, Pascual Collado, denied that a reservoir of such a size is in the planning. "It will be located to the North of Jimena and it is only half the volume that has been published," he said.