Baix Segura is on orange alert today. The Emergency Coordination Center of the Generalitat Valenciana warns of the possibility of torrential rains like those that in September 2019 washed out much of the Alicante region and Murcia and caused losses exceeding 1,300 million euros. Paradoxically, five days before the municipal and regional elections, the parties are forced to suspend scheduled outdoor activities in a campaign in which the lack of water, and not the excess, focuses much of the debate.
In the wake of this disaster, the Valencian Generalitat chaired by the socialist Ximo Puig designed, approved and began to implement the so-called Plan Vega Renhace, intended, on the one hand, to alleviate the consequences of the catastrophe and, on the other hand, to solve in the medium and long term the structural problem that supposes the higher frequency of torrential rain episodes, combined with an increase in periods of drought. The now candidate to obtain the presidency of the Valencian government for the third time was confident that the investment effort would have a positive effect on the image of the Botanic in a territory that has traditionally been a granary of votes for the right.
It is not clear that dissatisfaction with water management is the main cause of disinterest, factors such as language policy and resistance to Valencian may contribute more, but there is no doubt that, in this context, the approval of the new river basin plan Tajo and the consequent reduction in the flow to be transferred to the Segura is an inopportune inconvenience for the PSPV.
Faced with the little margin for negotiation that Minister Teresa Ribera has left him, Puig has been forced to confront the Socialist Government to the point of contesting the plan before the Supreme Court. The PP, led by Alicante's Carlos Mazón, first leader of the list for the province that has options to preside over the Council, does not miss the opportunity to attack Puig for the alleged weakness in the face of the ministerial measure. And try to bring the initiative to the discourse and to the courts, aware that the turbulent river of anti-sanchism is threatened by Vox, which has increased the possibilities by presenting candidates in almost half of the municipalities.
Along these lines, even the newspaper The Times titled a few days ago "The water war threatens to sink the socialists", a chronicle signed by the correspondent in Spain, Isambard Wilkinson, which collected the discontent of the agricultural and food sector in the south of Valencia and the possible effect on the rise of the ultra-right.
However, it should not be forgotten that the southern counties involve other particularities, that the PSOE governs in thirteen municipalities of Baix Segura and in Elche, the third city of the Community, where Carlos González, a staunch defender of transfer, aspires in his third term. Even Compromís, with an environmentalist soul that places him among those who, like the Alicante scientist Fernando Maestre, consider that climate change will force sooner or later to give up transfer and reduce irrigation, maintains short-term support for irrigators . The head of his list for Alicante is Aitana Mas, from Crevillen and vice-president of the Council, who has lined up without reservations with Puig in the confrontation with the ministry.