Value for Society

An agricultural miracle that started in the south of Spain

Over the last decades the Andalusian province of Almería has gone from being a relatively closed local economy, to becoming a massive business ecosystem that exports agricultural technology. This upgrade was possible thanks to the powerful triad of water, innovation and agriculture.

Sacyr Concesiones

We have been part of this great story through Sacyr Servicios Agua which leads the desalination and distribution of water for agriculture in the regions of Murcia and Almeria. These desalination plants are located in Águilas (Murcia), Cuevas de Almanzora, Carboneras and Níjar (Almería). Our presence in these regions shows a strong commitment to sustainability and our efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), specifically with SDG6 which ensures availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. 

Francisco Molina, Manager of Cuevas de Almanzora Desalination Plant explains “The desalination process creates a virtuous cycle in the agricultural watersheds of the area, which gradually improves the quality of the soils, by dissolving brackish concentrates while leaving nutrients that increase the productivity of the plantations."

Innovation has also been a fundamental part of this journey. The innovation team of our affiliate, Valoriza Agua, has done an amazing job over the past few years incorporating new technological improvements to the plants, such as Virtual Reality systems for equipment maintenance and real time remote alerts that make workers' jobs easier.  

The design, construction and operation of these infrastructures along with the successful coordination with different local agricultural partners of the industry, is proof of Valoriza Agua’s great leadership. Partnerships like this one are improving the future of Almeria, promoting a better use of natural resources while increasing the production of fruits and vegetables in the zone. Today, it’s estimated that every euro spent on desalinated water from our plants becomes about 40 euros of fruits and vegetables in the market, which means sustainability can also be profitable. 

But our contribution to the remarkable growth of agriculture in the southeast region of Spain doesn’t stop there. We are working along with the University of Almeria and the Politécnica de Cartagena in the development of a project for the European LIFE DESEACROP call for entries. With this project our objective is to prove that irrigating with desalinated water is sustainable, as well as its benefits it has for the productivity and quality of certain crops and soils.

This great experience in the agricultural sector has given us the chance to export the model to other countries. We have already partnered with companies like NGS (Primaflor) and have achieved successful agricultural projects in the north of Adelaida (Australia). But all of this great work wouldn’t have been possible without the innovative desalination network created between Valoriza and the local regions of Murcia and Almería, to tackle the frequent droughts that would have made the industrialization of agricultural production impossible in this region.

40

EUROS OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES IN THE MARKET

Are produced by every euro spent on desalinated water from our plants

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