Staff Reporter
THE Balearic government is increasing the use of desalination technology in order to preserve the natural water resources of the Islands.
The government has extracted 3.3 million cubic metres of water less than last year from the underground aquifer of Sa Marineta, meaning that 2 million cubic metres of sea-water more than last high tourist season, have had to be put through the desalination process. The principal aim is to ensure meeting the demand for water made by citizens, and visitors of the Balearic Islands.

Jaume Font, regional minister for the Environment and Joan Crespí, director of Water Resources, reported yesterday on the current state of the aquifers (underground rivers) of the Archipelago. They made particular reference to the one at Sa Marineta, from which, this winter, 4'212'080 cubic meters of water have been extracted. There is a noticeable difference between this figure and the period between 2002 and 2003, when 7'597'586 cubic metres were extracted.

Font pointed out that the Balearic government has extracted water from this natural reserve between 22 December 2003, and 20 May this year. This timespan represents 3 months less than the previous season, when water was syphoned off between October 2002 and 30 June 2003.

Font emphasized that this reduction in the extraction period is in keeping with the Balearic government's water policy of preservation of the natural sources of the Islands' water. A result of this policy is the increased use of desalination technology; plants on the Islands will be put to work at maximum capacity. So far this year, they have desalinated 13 million cubic metres.

Meanwhile, Font gave assurances that the Sa Costera water diversion works which are taking place in Soller with round-the-clock shift work, will finish at the end of this week. Every effort has been made, said the minister, to minimise disturbance for residents.

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