Sunday, June 20

The great tribute to the pioneer of water management

The great tribute to the pioneer of water management

The great tribute to the pioneer of water management

The INFORMACIÓN Club hosts this afternoon an act to pay tribute to the figure of Manuel Lorenzo Pardo who, known as «the genius of water», was the promoter of the I National Plan of Hydraulic Works (1933) of Spain, the project that he incorporated by the first time a unitary vision of the country by contemplating that natural resources have to be channeled for the benefit of all citizens.

Manuel Lorenzo Pardo focused his beginnings on water policy in the Ebro basin where he understood that, faced with a policy of isolated works, it was necessary to integrate them into a planning that articulated them.

The objective that was pursued was that all the infrastructures were profitable. Thus, he was the author of dozens of hydraulic works in this basin and the great promoter of the Ebro Hydrographic Confederation (CHE). Since its inauguration in 1926, the CHE inspired the management model of all the other confederations of the Spanish basins.

But his work was not limited to this basin when, commissioned by Indalecio Prieto, then Minister of Public Works (1931), he called him to devise a National Plan for Hydraulic Works. The plan he presented had two main goals. On the one hand, to solve the water imbalances between the Atlantic and Mediterranean slopes. On the other, to correct the imbalance resulting from the General Plan for Irrigation Canals and Swamps (1902) or Gasset Plan, where the Mediterranean basin was marginalized.

To do this, it prepared the Plan for the Improvement and Expansion of Irrigation in the Levant, which provided for the transformation of 338,000 hectares in the provinces of Murcia, Valencia, Alicante, Almería, Albacete and Cuenca. Manuel Lorenzo Pardo was the promoter of the Tajo-Segura transfer, an infrastructure that was included in the aforementioned plan. However, it was necessary to wait until 1968 for the works to be authorized due to the lack of budget in the 1930s, the economic crisis and the outbreak of the Civil War.

For Antonio Gil Olcina, Professor of Geography and Honorary Rector of the UA, “the significance of Manuel Lorenzo Pardo is enormous and presides over an exceptional decade of Spanish water policy that goes from 1926 to 1936.” Among the most outstanding points of his legacy, the professor highlights the conception of the National Plan of Hydraulic Works and the overcoming of the General Plan of Irrigation Canals and Swamps (1902) when considering that «the area suitable for irrigation was the Mediterranean by the flexibility of its irrigation and the experience of its growers ».

Documentary and round table

Being as one of the most important figures in Spanish water policy and due to its incidence in the province of Alicante, the Image Workshop of the University of Alicante, with Mariló Berenguer and Nati Calleja, in collaboration with the INFORMATION Club, has prepared the documentary «Lorenzo Pardo, the genius of water», which will be presented exclusively this afternoon at an event that, like the work of Manuel Lorenzo Pardo, wants to influence solidarity and overcoming rivalries to overcome water challenges of the country with a vision of the State.

The event, which will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a welcome from Amparo Navarro, Rector of the University of Alicante, will have a large institutional and social representation in an act that will be held in person at the Club’s facilities INFORMATION and that, in addition, will be retransmitted online.

For his part, José Antonio Andújar, former president of the Central Union of Irrigators of the Tajo-Segura Aqueduct (SCRATS), will be in charge of officiating the opening of the meeting at 6:40 p.m.

After the screening of the documentary, which will take place at 7:00 p.m., there will be a round table moderated by Jordi Azorín, general director of Hidraqua, in which the professors of the University of Alicante Joaquín Melgarejo, Inmaculada López Ortiz and Jorge Olcina will participate. The event will be closed by Carlos Mazón, president of the Alicante Provincial Council; Mireia Mollá, Minister of Agriculture; and Manuel Lorenzo García Ormaechea, diplomat and grandson of Manuel Lorenzo Pardo.

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