The extensive rain in Torrevieja this year has had repercussions much greater than just that of flooded roads and premises. It has meant that the salt beds from which the salt is usually harvested have been flooded too, to the point that there are concerns about how much salt will actually be harvested this year.

In order to address the issue, the salt company had asked the town hall to drain the extra water from the beds into the sea. However, permission has been denied by the Ministry of the Environment who fear that doing so would alter the balance of salinity in the areas where the water would be deposited and so affect marine life.

The company had requested that 3.6 million cubic hectometres of water be removed as excess from the salt lagoon. They proposed to do this in stages in order not to affect the area of the sea where it would be deposited. However, the plan has been rejected as potentially detrimental to the local environment.

Altogether there was rainwater of more than two hundred litres per square metre between December and March. This excess water meant that not only was the brine diluted but also some of the industrial site itself was flooded. The company has proposed that there would be three channels used to transport the brine water into the sea to prevent environmental problems being encountered. The water contains 170 grams of salt per litre and the sea contains around 30.

Suzanne O’Connell