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Parliamentary questions
4 May 2018
E-001077/2018
Answer given by Ms Creţu on behalf of the Commission

During the 2000-2006 and 2007-2013 programming periods, both the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund contributed to the construction or upgrade of around twenty desalinisation plants, mainly along the Mediterranean coast of Spain. In the current programming period 2014-2020, the focus of investments in the water sector is the rationalisation of water uses and waste water treatment. Thus, virtually no investments are foreseen in Spain in desalination with few exceptions, such as the upgrade of an existing plant in Melilla.

The Commission does not finance unfinished projects or desalinisation plants which are non-operational at the time of the programme closure, with the exception of limited cases of extensions of up to 2 years which are decided by the Member State and under certain conditions. For plants which are not functioning at full capacity, it falls within the responsibilities of the competent Spanish authorities to make sure that water infrastructures are used in an efficient way. In this regard, it is worth recalling that in most cases the desalinisation plants are envisaged as a guarantee when the meteorological conditions (i.e. draughts) restrain the availability of water. It should also be noted that the use of desalination plants in case of droughts is one of the options available to the authorities and that other options, such as the reuse of treated wastewater, may be preferable.

Last updated: 15 May 2018Legal notice