The Ministry of Environmental Transformation and Demographic Challenge has opened investigations to companies operating dams in the Doro, Tigu and Mineo Seal hydrographic basins to ascertain the relevant hydroelectric uses.
The Minister of State for the Environment, Hugo Moran, who announced the investigations after a meeting with mayors affected by the depletion of the Ricobayo (Zamora) dam, said that in these three hydrographic demarcations there were levels of exploitation “higher than recommended”. “.
In the case of Ricobayo, operated by Iberdrola, which went from 95% to 11% in four months, with particularly notorious banks in June and July, coinciding with caps on electricity prices, Moran noted that it is not in doubt to determine whether they exceeded privilege limits.
In addition, in concessions that have been around for decades, it is essential to know if common sense has been bypassed when dealing with the management of a highly sensitive public resource of water.
Moran also mentioned that there have been cases where investigations have been opened not for hydroelectric exploration but for other reasons, noting that every year, at this time, “inadequate response cases” tend to occur.
Moran’s announcement came after the third deputy prime minister and prime minister, Teresa Ribera, called Iberdrola last week over the significant water reduction in the dams of Ricopaio, in Zamora, and Valdecanas, in Caceres, declaring it “disgraceful” with what she was seeing.
He warned at the time that “if it turns out that there is bad practice” in the management of the dam, “the corresponding sanctions mechanism will be activated and (apply) the penalties to be applied,” he said.
The Secretary of State for the Environment acknowledged that the terms of some of the hydroelectric concessions were set when the impact of climate change was not as visible, so plans for the new river basin will be adapted.
These plans are under public discussion and should be approved by mid-2022. Iberdrola has ensured that it is exploring these hydraulic infrastructures “always in contact with the appropriate authorities”.
After the Ministry of Environmental Transformation and Demographic Challenge announced the opening of investigations, Iberdrola confirmed that it was exploring the dams “within established standards and in a natural way.”
“Hardcore alcohol maven. Hipster-friendly analyst. Introvert. Devoted social media advocate.”