Joan Collins THE underground water tables of Majorca and Ibiza at the moment contain their highest levels of water for the past six years. On Minorca the subterranean water level has not reached its maximum since 2000 but it is six points higher than average for this time of year, the Balearic Minister for the Environment, Jaume Font, said yesterday. He was speaking at a press conference about the state of the aquifers on the islands which supply 75 percent of the water used in the Balearics. He was accompanied by the head of the Spanish Geological and Mining Institute (IGME) in the Balearics, Rosa Maria Mateos, who presented a study about the variation in water levels, saltiness and nitrate contamination. The report by IGME, produced in 2005, showed that the water in all the aquifers had stayed the same or risen. It also showed a general fall in the level of nitrate contamination. The 13 aquifers on Majorca contain an average of 59 percent of their capacity, which is a rise of seven points in comparison with last February. On Minorca, the two big aquifers are 55 percent full, two points more than a year ago, while on Ibiza, where there are four working aquifers, the average content is 82 percent. Font said that these good results were due to improvements in the management of the extraction of underground water through wells and the use of desalinisation plants. The Minister said that last year 20.5 cubic hectometres of sea water (nearly 50 percent more than in 2003) was desalinated. This represents 19 percent of the 110 cubic hectometres consumed. Another 6 percent came from the Majorcan reservoirs (Cuber and Gorg Blau) and the remaining 75 percent from the natural wells. As for the quality of the subterranean water, the head of IGME said that “it is good enough” in comparison with other autonomous regions due, mainly, to the absence of heavy industry. Mateos said that last year there were rises in the level of water in six of Majorca's aquifers, one on Minorca and five on Ibiza (those with big rises). However, there were falls in the level in three on Majorca and a slight fall on Formentera but the rest remained stable.