Staff Reporter: BALEARIC environment minister, Jaume Font, announced that as of 2006, his ministry will allocate 6 million euros annually to prevent loss of water through leaky pipes. The scheme, aimed chiefly at reducing huge losses which have been incurred through faulty municipal piping networks, will be launched next year with an initial fund of three million euros. According to Font, this money will finance a leak detection and repair plan. The first round of funding will come in equal amounts of one million euros each, from the Balearic government, the Island Councils and local town councils. The money would be invested piecemeal, commented the minister, who went on to specify: “This coming year, we will contribute 1 million euros, in 2005 a million and a half, and in 2006, 2 million”. These spending forecasts form part of the action plan that the Environment ministry has set out for the coming months. It also includes 18 million euros' worth of new piping and ducting, and improvements in the maintenance of the torrents (water courses). Additionally, 1'700'000 euros has been set aside for the conservation and cleaning of the torrents “140 percent more” than the previous year's allocation. Huge investments in upgrading and increasing sewage treatment facilities following years of “abandonment” will add to an overall bill for the present government's environmental improvement plans of some 37 million euros. This figure will include a major commitment to water filtration systems. The care of the natural woodland is another of the priorities of the Ministry of Environment, which has to deal with the removal of 1'500'000 pine trees that have been blown down, mostly on private estates, during the violent storms of winter, 2001.