LETTER: Wasted water

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From Mr Mikael Grut

Sir: The crux of Elizabeth Nash's article "A terrible thirst in Torremolinos" (26 April) is her statement that 80 per cent of Spain's water is used in agriculture. There is no more wasteful use of water than that.

We are plagued with surpluses of most agricultural products, so why use precious water to aggravate the problem? Every cubic meter of water used for tourism produces far more revenue for Spain than the same quantity used for irrigation.

Along the south coast of Spain you still see furrow irrigation, with all the evaporation which that entails, instead of drip irrigation, which uses far less water.

It would pay the southern cities to buy the water rights off the farmers, the way Californian towns do. Irrigation projects are a knee-jerk reaction from a bygone era. Some of those in Spain are financed with European regional funds (ie, with our tax money), so we should take an interest in them.

Yours faithfully,

MIKAEL GRUT

London, SW19

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