The European Commission is investigating more than 250 new housing projects and urbanisations in Spain that may not have sufficient water to meet the needs of residents, reveals Stavros Dimas, European Environmental Commissioner, in response to a recent parliamentary question by MEP David Hammerstein. The projects are located in located in Andalucia, Castilla-La Mancha, Murcia, and the Valencian Community.
Some of the projects are under construction or have planning approval, despite local water boards refusing to guarantee future water supplies, claims Hammerstein, a Spanish MEP for the Greens.
In a response to Hammerstein during September Dimas wrote that his department “has begun an investigation into these projects, requesting information from the Spanish authorities on expected additional demands on water, and how they will guarantee the environmental objectives of the EU’s water directive.”
The Commission has also asked Madrid for a list of housing projects awaiting planning approval that have been turned down by water boards. The EC has also asked the Spanish government to explain its plans to “guarantee compliance with the water directive, and preserve the quality and quantity of water resources in the medium and long term.”
According to Hammerstein, the investigation could “question the legality of plans to build hundreds of thousands of homes in areas with endemic water shortages.”
“The construction boom has an insatiable thirst that is incompatible with a sustainable future for drinking water as required by the EU,” argues Hammerstein.