The Generalitat’s proposal to declare the final section of the Seco-Montnegre river a wet zone leaves more than a kilometer of this channel outside the protection. For this reason, environmentalists consider it essential to extend this cataloging by some eight hectares to the Sant Joan treatment plant, where its constant flow and the orchard that the purified water has generated is “born”.
Conservationists have presented allegations to the inclusion of this place in the Catalog of Wetlands of the Valencian Community to expand its limits. And it is that despite the fact that the water from the l’Alacantí Nord treatment plant is responsible for the green corridor that this river has become since 2011, when it was launched, the measure promoted by the Generalitat at the request of El Campello and conservationists does not cover this entire area … far from it. It remains on the bridge of the N-332, covering 49 hectares and about 2,300 linear meters of riverbed, when the treatment plant is about 1,100 meters upriver.
The Sant Joan station has been dumping all its production into the Seco river since 2011, about 5,000 million liters a day, although for a few weeks the irrigators of the region can already use more than half of their production for irrigation after completing the work of the Generalitat to pump the water to Mutxamel. In any case, at this time of year its flow is not a necessary principle for the fields.
The proposal of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development, Climate Emergency and Ecological Transition, which is in the public exhibition phase, includes the inclusion of the mouth of the Seco River in the catalog, from the bridge of the N-332 to the sea . But ecologists claim to extend it to the area where the treatment plant is discharged, where this green corridor full of flora and fauna really begins in what was until a decade ago a barren riverbed through which water only ran when it rained heavily.
By means of this allegation, the association Friends of the Southern Wetlands of Alicante (AHSA) demands that «the humid area be extended to the point where the Sant Joan treatment plant discharges its effluent into the riveror, a section of the Montnegre river that presents similar characteristics to the area that it is proposed to catalog both in terms of its environmental and landscape values and its morphology. It is important to bear in mind that it is at the aforementioned point where the seasonal waters of the river itself meet with those of the WWTP, part of whose effluent will continue to be discharged as an ecological flow into its channel after the water pumping starts. wastewater treated to the Pantanet de Mutxamel reservoir, so that throughout the year the riverbed will present a permanent flow of water from the treatment plant to the sea, as has occurred since the start of the WWTP, although the flow discharge will be less than the current one.
In the same way “it should be noted that the morphology of the channel changes from that point, upstream, to a more embedded morphology compared to the greater amplitude that the channel presents between the treatment plant and the sea.” On the other hand, it stands out that with this extension, «the wetland would connect directly with the cattle trails of the Sant Joan a Aigües and Colada del Cantalar path, all within the territorial fluvial corridor defined in the” Corredors territorials “layer of the viewer of the Institut Cartogràfic Valencià (ICV). For all these reasons, we justify the expansion we propose, whose lands for the most part correspond to the public hydraulic domain.
In addition, AHSA, which positively values the Generalitat measure, goes further along with the expansion to the treatment plant, proposes that the protection extends along its entire channel, from the mouth to the Tibi Reservoir, a humid area already cataloged, remembering that «the entire channel of the Montnegre river, between the Tibi reservoir and its mouth in the sea, forms part of a territorial fluvial corridor established as such in the ICV viewer and houses more than abundant biological, landscape and cultural values to justify its protection as a listed wetland. ‘
On the other hand, AHSA claims, together with the upper course of the Seco River, also the incorporation to the Catalog of Humid Zones of the Valencian Community of different wetlands whose inclusion has been requested since 1998 by different environmental groups, such as the Lagunas de Rabasa , the Saladar de Fontcalent and the Lagunas de Fontcalent, a measure that was approved and requested by the plenary session of Alicante in 2015.
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