Gran Canaria President claims 99% of waste water treated, demands microalgae answers

The president of the Cabildo of Gran Canaria, Antonio Morales (NC), has expressed his “concern” today regarding waste water discharges in to the sea emphasising that unlike Tenerife this island “purifies 99% of the waters that it discharges” and offered guarantees that the treatment is carried out in “optimum conditions “.

By contrast, Morales says that the island of Tenerife “dumps” 57 million litres of “untreated black and fecal water” into the sea, which means “between 70 and 90%, depite its Hydrological Plan aiming to correspond to 65 percent. ”

This situation, said the island leader, “is not repeated on Gran Canaria” which, he explained, “has verified that 99 percent of the water that we discharge into the sea is treated as stipulated by law.”

Antonio Morales has emphasized “the generalisation that is being made of this information in the Canaries” and has commented that despite people generally thinking this situation affects Gran Canaria, it is not actually so.

Water management in Gran Canaria is carried out by the Insular Water Council, “in 14 municipalities of the island, with 101 installations and 26 treatment plants” , which guarantee that “all waters that go to the sea comply with regulations and are inspected at all times”.

The management of the water treatment plants for the Cabildo sees “an annual expenditure of 11 million euros”, which includes “180,000 euros in a program for monitoring, control and monitoring of discharges to the sea” along with “a water analysis plan of 100,000 euros per year “.

According to the president´s figures, the island processes a volume of 22 million cubic meters of waste waters, “around 13 million treated,” and the other half “is used for irrigation and agriculture.”

Morales emphasises that the “investment effort” for Gran Canaria is centred around the lack of rain, on which work is being done to improve connections to the dams and reservoirs, to modernise the purifiers and optimise resources.

He also warned that “climate change is a reality” and that “global warming and the modification of the trade winds are here to stay”, which makes “the search for solutions” essential.

Morales has insisted on “the need for a definitive and scientifically agreed report” that explains if the proliferation of cyanobacteria “has to do with rising sea water temperature”, on whether fecal water discharges to the sea “feed or potentiate the distribution of cyanobacteria” and whether or not “microalgae are dangerous to health”.

In addition, he stressed that microalgae and its danger to the human being  is a matter on which there is controversy and for which he has urged the Canary Islands Government to act “through a report created and agreed upon at a table of scientific debate” the “power to sanction and follow up, since citizens require information.”

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