End of work in October and watering before summer in the Reserve

It shows the appearance of extensive cracked skin that cries out for urgent hydration help, as impressive as it is far from that iconic wet spot of Cabo de Gata Salt Flats. Dry since summer, without a drop of water and without the hundreds of birds that usually live there or rest there during their intercontinental migrations. The countdown to save this Biodiversity reserve will mark the conclusion of the rooms undertook to recover the canal that supplies water to the lagoons. Work is progressing according to the schedule set for the next month of october, when the sea water begins to flow through the old galleries, dug under the great mountain that crowns the landscape, to refill the 440 hectares that, approximately, make up these salt pans. Even if the work will be finished in October, it will take months to fill this vast surface and be able to celebrate the return of the pink flamingos.

Its contemplation is the first essential step when arriving in Cape Town. There, at the gazebo or gazebo where the black beetles await, the vast dry country in which this ecosystem recognized by UNESCO has become since the storms of April rains will cause the shutter of the Gallery which feeds water from the sea to the lagoon.

It is not a pipe to use, current, or in the sea area parallel to this wetland. Leaving behind The Almadraba of Montelevathe work of the Unión Salinera (of the French multinational Salims), lead to the fabric. Next to the traditional bar, that of Antonio and Consuelo, there is a first fence that prevents continuing on the unpaved path, although it allows you to follow the route on foot from the shore where there are still bathers basking in the sun. A second fence closes access to the “zero zone”, which a few decades ago lost its sand. It is in these rocks, located on the slopes of the mountain, that the contracted experts operate.

“Anyone who reads the information, what comes to mind is a blowjob, but it’s a handmade gallery who knows how long in the middle of a Mountain», they explain, recalling in passing the origin of the saltworks and the Roman remains of Cabo de Gata.

The salt system It collects in this mountainous point the water of the sea, which is raised by the old pipes to then cover the distance that separates La Fabriquilla from Las Salinas.

As these channels are located under the mountain, the spring runoff carried stones and other elements causing damage to these galleries and blinding some 400 meters, half of its length. desiccation of the lagoon is not only the rain. The weather was not good for mosquitoes and the heat wave worsened the situation. “If this had happened in January and not before summer, there would be water here”, says a resident, who tries to observe through the fence what we cannot see with the eye. bare in this work space: there are accesses allowed, in the form of small cavities, through which the workers gain access to the interior of the galleries.

“It’s not just about getting in and removing rocks and anything that closes the water circuit. It is – they say – a mining works”, in which manual and mechanical means are used. Comenzó el 1 de agosto (dos meses después de que se dire la voz de alerta sobre la desecación de la albufera, cuestión muy critiqueada por los grupos ecologistas), con el objetivo de recuperar el bombeo de agua del mar a lo largo del mes de october .

He declared it Advisor for Sustainable Development, Environment and Blue Economy (and former mayor of Almería), RAmmon Fernandez-Pacheco, in recent statements to the media and confirmed by sources consulted by this newspaper close to the work. According to them, work is progressing correct pace and the Unión Salinera hopes to be able to recover the water from the sea within the time agreed with the Junta de Andalucía and, why not, also with the society of Almería, very aware of the evolution of this jewel of the natural park.

Thus, he should be able to report the completion of these tasks next month, which does not mean that Las Salinas will offer the usual picture of a unique landscape so soon. As stated earlier, they are more than 400 hectares of terrestrial and marine parktherefore its immediate filling is impossible, but instead Almería will gradually recover the wetland of Cabo de Gata, nature doing the rest.

The million dollar question following the conclusion of the proceedings is When will there be water in the salt pans? Although rumor has spread that it has already returned or is beginning to germinate (the origin may be the pond that still holds water and where some flamingos could be seen a few days ago), the truth is that it will be a slow process and that it will enter in 2023. The same sources consulted assure that the natural park will regain the iconic image of this Reserve before next summer.

Activating the motors that propel sea water will also circulate small fish, molluscs and micro-organisms, which serve as food for a large number of species of birds Most of them (about 70%) stay here temporarily, given that it is a strategic point on the Africa-Europe migration route and is also essential, as research indicates, for the hibernation of many birds.

Among the migrants there are, or there were until this year, storks and herons, although the main role has always been taken by the pink flamingos roses. These Cabo de Gata stars had no choice but to look for “migas” elsewhere in Almeria. Many of them moved west from Almeria, finding accommodation, according to reports, in the Salt pans of Roquetas de Mar (Punta Entinas). Others fled on their own. In fact, two disoriented specimens were rescued in the Mojaquera neighborhood of sopalm and in Carboneras.

While the birds literally sought life elsewhere, in the dry land of the salt flats there is still activity, strangely human. Parallel to the work of unblocking the water channel of La Fabriquilla, we can see some workers crossing the central part of the wetland and also machinery, something unthinkable given the conservation measures and rules that govern the lagoon, delimited along its entire length to prevent the passage of people.

Living is an unprecedented situation. Never, or at least we remember, have these ponds been totally and completely dried up. So, from crisis to opportunity. Unión Salinera takes the opportunity to carry out a saline cleanings, they will win depth.

Seawater is rich in components. Solidified layers are deposited and formed in the lagoons, which are being removed and from which gypsum is extracted. He is natural plastercalcium sulfate, which is used in agricultural fertilizers and is also widely used in construction.

the works

in the factory
The first fence of the construction area is, delimited, and where there is no sand on the beach, by another perimeter. This is where manual means and a few machines are used to help unclog the gallery that leads seawater to Las Salinas. With an objective, such as that used for the attached image, one can observe a cavity for accessing it.

in the salt pans
This is the first time they have dried. It is used to cleanse and gain depth.


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