Desalination plants in Valencia are operating at a third of their capacity

Desalination plants in Valencia are operating at a third of their capacity

The existing desalinated water plants in the Valencian Region (Sagunte, Torrevilla, Orbisa, Motxamil and Moncova), operated by the Aigües de les Conques Mediterrànies Societat Mercantil Estatal (Acuamed), are still far from reaching their maximum compound production · lada and therefore, with the potential Giving part of its volume to other population groups far from the geographical area in which it was installed. Thus, the Sagunto desalination plant, one of the largest desalination plants in the Mediterranean, has sufficient capacity to meet the request made by the Spanish government, which is already preparing to transport water by boat to Barcelona from the Camp de Mourvedre facility to meet the emergency. The situation is due to water shortages due to drought in Catalonia. The central government and the Catalan government will pay half the cost of transportation by watercraft from Sagunto to the Catalan capital.

According to Acuamed's latest annual report, corresponding to 2022, the above-mentioned Valencia desalination plants ended the year with a global production of 48.19 cubic hectares, against a potential installed capacity of 128.4 cubic hectares, a figure representing just over a third of their production. Possibilities.

Incremental installation

Currently – we will see what happens from 2024 after months of severe rainfall shortages throughout the Valencian region – the Sagunto desalination plant, which started operating in 2018, has produced only 0.16 cubic meters in 2022, against an annual capacity of 8 hectares. This road can serve more than 120,000 users in the Camp de Morvedre area. For this reason, the central government resorted to it to solve the emergency situation due to the drought in Catalonia.

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Acuamed operates the system that includes the Xúquer-Turia Canal Dam, the Paterna Pumping Station and its regulating reservoir in Sagunto, all connected by connecting pipes. In addition, the Xúquer Hydrographic Union has carried out works of public interest and reserve flow in the Contreras Reservoir.

Acuamed, which employs dozens of workers at its center in Sagunto, will have to provide this work center with more human resources when the state company linked to the Ministry of Environmental Transition launches a plan to increase its production of transporting water in boats from the port of Sagunto to Catalonia. Sources from this ministry estimate that up to seven cubic hectares could be sent during the summer of 2024.

Currently, a total of 765 desalination plants with a production capacity exceeding 100 cubic meters per day have been installed in Spain. Of these, 360 are seawater, and 405 are brackish water. The Valencian Region owns, in addition to the above-mentioned Aquamed plants, other farms in Chabia (municipality) and Alicante (state). The store in Torrevella is, by far, the one that handles the largest volume and one of the largest companies in Europe. In fact, it is one of those whose capacity will increase according to the plans of the Ministry of Environmental Transformation. The latter, according to Acuamed's balance sheet, produced 36.4 cubic meters of water for irrigation and supplies, almost half its annual capacity (80 cubic metres), expandable to more than 120.

Less production

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Meanwhile, the plant in Motxamil, which will have a production capacity of 6.91 hectares in 2023, is almost at its capacity limits (8 hectares); The Orbisa field produced 4.56 cubic hectares of supply water, but could reach 21.5 cubic hectares. The underperforming unit in Moncova produced 0.22 cubic hectares intended to supply residents, far from its potential volume of 10.9 cubic hectares.

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Overexploitation of groundwater aquifers has led to a tripling of the use of desalinated water compared to the previous decade. The summer drought required extraordinary resources, rising from 30 cubic hectares in 2015 to 100 cubic meters in 2019.

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