Spanish national irrigation plan approved

The Spanish government on Friday approved a national irrigation plan, with a euros 5bn budget to 2008, to modernise and extend agricultural irrigation. Agriculture ministry sources stressed that the plan promoted water conservation and efficiency, but environmental group Ecologists in action insisted that it failed to tackle the problem of "unsustainable farm irrigation on Spain's Mediterranean coast". The NGO also complained that the government should have made public its assessment of future irrigation needs before approving controversial dam-building and water transfer schemes in the national hydrological plan (EED 08/03/02). See press release.

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