Baix Llobregat cannot continue like this

After months of very intense drought in the Baix Llobregat, the rain made an appearance and it did so as it usually does in the form of a flood.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
14 May 2024 Tuesday 05:29
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Baix Llobregat cannot continue like this

After months of very intense drought in the Baix Llobregat, the rain made an appearance and it did so as it usually does in the form of a flood. This is the sixth episode to occur in the last 10 years with far-reaching consequences. Not only does a good part of the current year's harvest spoil, but it affects the quality of the land, its availability of nutrients and contributes to further eroding an already limited fertile land. Estimates of losses are in the range of several tens of millions of euros over these years.

We often say that to correctly manage drought it is necessary to know how to handle floods reliably, even more so when they have already become an extreme weather phenomenon that appears with some frequency. This management must be carried out by all parties involved, from the private to the public, but sadly it is not the norm in this area, which is striking (as well as outrageous) considering that a good part of the arable surface is under a special regime such as the Parc Agrari del Baix Llobregat.

The model that was implemented more than two decades ago in terms of peri-urban agriculture reveals multiple weaknesses, if not serious negligence, that are being tolerated by the administrations that assumed governance of the space from the beginning, starting with the town councils and ending in the AMB and an agricultural union. It cannot be said that an area like the Parc Agrari is a formula for success if no effort is made to prevent the land from flooding both due to the lack of rational management and the poverty of the existing infrastructure.

Added to this is turning a deaf ear to the weather forecasts which, even if they are known with little notice, are more than enough to, at least, prevent the farms from filling with water. In this sense, the managing entity (the Consorci) does not do its primary job, which is to assist farmers in complex moments such as floods, nor does it do what it should in terms of prevention and protection of the territory to prevent recurrences in the future. the same negative consequences.

For example, it is not conceivable that the conservation entity of an industrial estate leaves the businessmen who have their warehouses there in the cold in matters that are their responsibility such as sanitation, lighting, pavement or relations with the land. adjacent, among others. The Parc Agrari is the closest thing (or rather, it should be) to a business park where its governing body must ensure that its infrastructure is updated, works correctly and knows how to react to any unexpected circumstance.

However, here it is quite the opposite. The water system that helps drain water from the land is a screw and floodgates, all more typical of past centuries than the 21st century. Instead of investing in a mechanism that prevents and manages torrential rains, the Consorci opts for public financing of more than one million euros to renovate a farmhouse for gastro-tourism purposes when for years they have systematically denied this type of activities to private owners under the Special Plan. This is a “law of the funnel” in its entirety.

Consequently, what incentive will the agricultural businessman who is within the jurisdiction of the Parc Agrari have to continue investing, to generate wealth, employment and innovation in a place where there is a very high probability of floods that are not managed and avoided by its governing body? It is not acceptable to assume a very strict regulation enshrined in the Special Plan without there even being a compensation in the form of correct management.

In short, it is time to defend a reform of the functioning of this area governed by special regulations that have shown signs of incoherence, lack of updating and various contradictions with European, national, regional and regional regulations. It is time for those who can do it, and especially the agents most directly linked to the territory such as the city councils of municipalities such as Gavà, Viladecans or Sant Boi de Llobregat, to take the baton of the citizens' demands and carry them out. complete a reform more necessary than ever.