Estepona is to build its own solar-powered desalination plant in a bid to avoid the drought that is plaguing Andalucía
In a recent Plenary Session, the Estepona City Council Corporation sanctioned the implementation of a comprehensive Hydraulic Infrastructure Works Plan. This strategic move involves a redistribution of the planned works program within the hydraulic infrastructure improvement fee applicable from 2021 to 2030.
The aim is to integrate essential actions to address the region’s serious water shortage and exceptional drought, as declared by the Andalucían Government in October.
Temporary Extension of Infrastructure Fee
The Council also endorsed a temporary extension of the hydraulic infrastructure improvement fee until the expiration of the concession for public water and sewage services, managed by the Hidralia company, scheduled for 2042.
Key Initiatives in the Works Plan
The proposed works encompass diverse actions, ranging from water collection to ensuring a reliable water supply. Notable projects include the acquisition and installation of a containerized seawater desalination plant and a photovoltaic panel system. Additionally, the plan incorporates measures for remote control, enhancing the quality of water supply services and drinking water pumping stations. The estimated budget for all planned works until 2042 totals €43 million, subject to adjustments aligned with project executions.
City’s Commitment to Citizen Services
These infrastructure projects will be executed based on urgency and necessity, emphasizing the commitment to ensuring uninterrupted water supply and services for citizens. A top priority within this municipal action plan is the swift installation of the desalination plant. Estepona already possesses a prepared project by Hidralia, outlining the construction of a containerized desalination plant at the Castor River mouth.
Innovative Desalination Plant
This water treatment facility employs prefabricated modules, reducing costs and implementation time. The project anticipates a production capacity of 20,000 m3/day, expandable to 30,000 m3/day in the future. Photovoltaic panels will contribute to energy self-sufficiency throughout the water treatment process.
Sustainable Financing through Improvement Fee
The hydraulic infrastructure improvement fee, integrated into residents’ water bills since 2006, secures a budgetary allocation proportional to water consumption. The temporary extension of this fee until 2042 maintains user costs without introducing additional charges, ensuring financial sustainability. The fee’s revenue has been pivotal in the last decade, funding critical projects such as the recent expansion of the Las Mesas reservoir, significantly enhancing Estepona’s water independence.