Ibiza’s water supply has been decreasing for many years, which has led not only to scarcity, but to very poor water quality on the island. The depleted underground water reserves (aquifers) have caused the water to be too mineralized and salty – especially in the municipality of San José. Part of the problem is that Santa Eulalia’s desalinisation plant, which was finished three years ago, has never been activated due to a dispute over the construction costs. It seems that both national and regional politicians have finally decided to take action. The central government has authorised the resolution of the concession contract of Santa Eulalia’s desalination plant and will cover the cost of it.
The plant will be given to the Balearic government to be put into service and to operate. It will also be responsible for funding the pipeline system to carry water around the island. This will connect Santa Eulalia’s desalination plant with the other two existing plants in San Antonio and Ibiza town. This new plant, with a maximum capacity of 4.9 cubic hectometres per year, will play an important role in the supply of more and better water for the inhabitants of our island. It is expected to become operational during 2016 and the municipality of Santa Eulalia will be the first to benefit. This is very good news for a Mediterranean island such as ours, with frequent periods of drought. Seawater desalination plants are an excellent alternative for obtaining more quality water, and they also lessens the strain on our over-exploited aquifers.