21st July 2015
Fifteen years ago, the
Ayuntamiento de Xàbia took the brave decision to build a
seawater desalination plant. At the time, it was a bold resolution to
develop such an innovative and ambitious public entity, with no
financial help from external public administrations and committing the
town to an investment of no less than 24 million euros.
difficult times, when the taps only produced salty water and drinking
water was supplied from public tanks, which became a part of the scene every summer, Xàbia took the risk, despite some public opposition, and opted for a long term solution.
Many years have passed since we opened the desalination plant. In
some years the rain was so abundant that the desalination plant could
even be disconnected. But during all this time, the citizens of Xàbia
continued to pay their water bills, with the promise of the peace of
mind that there would be a guaranteed supply of quality water in times
I do not think anyone should be surprised now, if we
have to choose between stopping the sale of water to neighbouring towns
or leave Xàbia citizens without water, it would be a painful decision but one
which it is clear had to be taken.
We are the first to understand
that when a town has a shortage of drinking water, it touches a raw
nerve. However, we cannot allow ourselves to be branded as unsympathetic
as a justification for others not acting on time. especially, when in
recent years, Xàbia, despite being better prepared to face a drought
situation, has provided our plant as a basis on which to build a
structural solution to a problem which we warned would affect
We have convened meetings and technical seminars for
those responsible from neighbouring towns and we have proposed serious
agreements (for example, a commitment to purchase for a minimum of five
years), as collateral to give us sufficient confidence to expand the
plant and its production capacity, which of course implies a greater
investment and additional maintenance costs.
What we have found
during this time is a haggling over cents; months have passed and
despite meetings we did not get any better commitment than the usual
"and I'll buy water if I need it and if you give me good price".
are a supportive town and believe in the unity of the region. But they
cannot complain that, without giving any commitment to a serious
agreement with Xàbia, we should consider more investments from our own
pocket, so that the desalination plant has the capacity to produce a
surplus if the need arises.
However, we are putting ourselves in the
shoes of those who now face restrictions, and we are working to reduce
the consumption of our consumers and as soon as we are able to do so, we
will re-establish supplies if they wish us to do so.
It is easy is blame others, but more useful to find solutions.
José F. Chulvi
Mayor of Xàbia