STAFF REPORTER THE Balearic government is planning to transform Majorca's torrentes (water courses) into tourist attractions. The dry river beds deliberately gouged out of the ground were designed to channel flood water away from residential areas and farmland at times of intense rainfall. But now the government wants to acknowledge these features of Balearic landscape as ones of cultural heritage and have put in motion plans to install information panels giving a background to the history of torrentes across the Bay of Palma.

Regional Environment Minister, Miquel Angel Grimalt teamed up yesterday with Water Resources director, Isidre Canyelles to explain how the campaign aims to popularise the torrentes amongst both residents and tourists.

The promotion will focus not just on what volumes of water they are capable of channelling but on their landscape value and how they have contributed to the social history of the people of the islands. He emphasized at the same time how the torrentes need to be maintained and kept clean so that they can fulfill their primary function of “flood deflectors.” Last year, and with this end in mind, a guided route along the Galatzo torrent was created which “allows walkers to enjoy the landscape and learn about the history attached to the lives of people who live off the surrounding land.” Similar projects are planned elsewhere in tourist zones in the islands.