dijous, 13 de maig de 2010

L'Ebre, dia 2 - Moon River de Louis Armstrong

De problemes, l’Ebre ha patit, i pateix, molts. Però un dels més importants i fàcils d’entendre, són els constants intents de transvasar aigua a altres zones de Catalunya o a l’estat espanyol. La gent de l’Ebre han hagut de lluitar des dels anys 1970 per defensar l’Ebre i l’aigua que hi baixa. A l’any 1974 ja va haver una proposta de transvasament contestada des de la societat ebrenca. Per sort, Franco va morir i la proposta també.

A l’any 1980/81 es va aprovar el mal-anomenat “mini” transvasament a Tarragona. La resposta ciutadana amb les primeres organitzacions socials no va ser prou per impedir-ho. Els resultats d’aquest transvasament son clars, mentre les Terres de l’Ebre s’han estancat en la cua de Catalunya en qüestions socio-economics, el Camp de Tarragona ha pogut viure un boom impressionant.

A l’any 1989 arriba la tercera proposta; la gent de l’Ebre va haver de tornar al carrer per impedir que es portes a fi la proposta de la Generalitat de construir un transvasament a Barcelona. En aquesta campanya la gent que ja portava 15 anys lluitant d’una forma més espontània i menys organitzada, van crear l’associació Coordinadora Anti-Transvasaments.
4 anys desprès, la Coordinadora, juntament amb altres grups de la conca (a traves de COAGRET), va haver de lluitar contra la proposta de transvasament del PSOE a l’any 1993. Aquesta proposta, el famós “pla Borrell” potser ha sigut el més brutal fins ara, però per sort es va retirar per falta de suport i altres problemes que patien el PSOE en aquell moment.
La cinquena lluita grossa va tenir lloc a l’any 1995 amb els transvasaments, per barco, a Mallorca.

I després arribem a la memòria recent – el PHN de Aznar, “por cojones”. La llei del PHN proposava, entre altres coses, una sèrie de transvasaments cap al sud i al nord que, en total, sumarien més de 1000 hectometers anuals. Aquesta quantitat podria representar fàcilment entre un 5 i 20% del cabal anual de l’Ebre!

Tornem a escoltar Moon River (Mercer/Mancini, any 1961) però ara cantada per Louis Armstrong.
(Les fotos son de l'Ebre a la Ribera de l'Ebre, el Delta des del cel, i cultius de musclos al Delta)
....

The Ebro has suffered many problems over the years. Perhaps the threat most visual and easy to understand is the constant attempts by politicians and businessmen to “transfer” (siphon off via huge canals) water to other parts of Catalonia and Spain where more money can be made with this resource. The Ebrencs (collective name for people living in the lower Ebro basin) have been campaigning to protect the river – and with it their livelihoods – since the 1970s. One of the first serious attempts to transfer water was proposed by Franco back in 1973. This was the first water fight for the Ebrencs. Luckily Franco died soon after, and with him, his project.

In 1980 the government passed a law allowing for a water transfer to Tarragona. Unfortunately the social response was not strong enough to able to prevent it. The results of this transfer are clear – while Tarragona has enjoyed an economic boom and population growth via industry and tourism, the Terres de l’Ebre have become firmly stuck at the bottom of the socio-economic league tables in Catalonia.
1989 saw a third transfer project when the Catalan government tried to pipe more water to Barcelona. The local protest this time was more organised and people formed the association, Coordinadora Anti-Transvasament. The government eventually gave in.

Four years later, numerous groups along the Ebro basin came together to fight a new transfer project of the Socialist government, in 1993. This project involved huge transfers and would have had the most serious effects on the river compared to previous and future plans, but luckily the political situation and people’s response at that time meant that the project never went ahead.
The fifth fight was an unsuccessful attempt to prevent water being transferred to Mallorca by boat in 1995. Luckily this transfer was only a temporary measure.

What’s the problem? It may seem at first glance that if other areas of Catalonia need water, it would only be right to supply it. However, experience shows that this “need” is artificial. The more water supplied, the more unsustainable intensive agriculture or mass tourism is created, leading to demands for yet more water in a never-ending irrational cycle. A logical situation would be to re-address the balance and actually bring life and work to the river and its surroundings, rather than transferring the river (and killing off its ecosystems) for “political droughts” (and not natural ones).

Campaign number six, would arrive in the year 2000 when the Conservative government (PP) included a series of transfers in their River Plans which would have meant channelling off between 5 and 20% of the Ebro’s annual flow!

Moon River (Mercer/Mancini) sung by Louis Armstrong
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(Photos show river Ebro, birds-eye view of Delta, and mussel "farming" in Delta)



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