Certain sectors in Gibraltar have expressed concern as to the desirability of Gibraltar connecting to Spain for the supply of potable water following the recent water emergency shortage.
Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar would like to make explicitly clear that the decision to explore this possibility was taken at a Strategic Coordinating Group as a possible contingency measure. As a matter of fact, AquaGib already had infrastructure in place at the vicinity of the airport which was used many years ago to bring water from natural wells at British Lines to the Hesse’s blending tank where it was subsequently pumped into the network. These pipes are currently no longer in operation and new infrastructure is being laid.
The Minister for Public Utilities, the Hon Albert Isola, said: ‘As a result of the fire at Power’s Drive Tunnel, the Government explored a number of contingency measures that could be considered, with some being more feasible than others. We imported significant volumes by road, and non-potable water by barge, as a result of the emergency. Work on all potential options began with the laying of the new pipe at the border being one such measure. I would like to reassure the community that the Government has no intention whatsoever of using this pipe as a permanent supply of potable water from Spain and it will only be used in the future as a contingency measure should an emergency event such as the one we have just experienced ever occur again. We will always ensure we are self-sufficient in our production of water. I am pleased to say that with the temporary RO plant now in operation, I hope to see our stock levels increasing significantly, avoiding the need for any further temporary measures.’