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Local Daily News 23rd November

Alicante will close 2022 as the warmest year since the data was analysed in 1961

Europe suffers the worst drought in 500 years – 47% of the European Union is on alert – and in Spain, according to the State Meteorological Agency, 2022 is, unless we have a monsoonal and icy December and the data changes, the warmest in the historical series that began in 1961 and the fourth driest. In the province of Alicante, the issue of heat is the same but in drought we are better than in Catalonia, Andalusia or the Tagus. The episodes in the early 80s and 90s were worse, according to Jorge Olcina, director of the Climatology Laboratory at the University of Alicante.

The rains of last spring and the occasional storms of autumn mean that the situation, despite the closure of the Tagus-Segura, is not as alarming as in other areas of Spain such as Catalonia, a community in which there are restrictions on consumption and agriculture from next January. The worst of this week is the wind with gusts of up to 102 kilometres / hour this Tuesday in Busot.

Drought is not just ruining Europe’s crops. Many European cities and towns, such as Le Bouchet-Saint-Nicoles in south-eastern France, have struggled to supply themselves with water and rely on daily delivery by tanker trucks. Something that is also affecting tourism: when the weather is better in central and northern Europe, fewer travellers go to the Costa Blanca.

October was an extremely warm month in the province of Alicante, with the highest average temperature in the historical series, which began in 1961, exceeding the previous record by 0.8 ºC. The average temperature of the month was 18 ºC, that is, it had an anomaly of 3.6 ºC above normal. This figure made October 2022 the most anomalously warm month in Spain in the entire series, equaling May 1964. Only seven months, since 1961, have had an anomaly equal to or greater than 3ºC; five of them have been registered since 2011.

October 2022 was also a dry month, with rainfall only reaching about two-thirds of normal. It was the fourth driest October of the 21st century. The year 2022, with data from January to October, is the warmest and fourth driest in the historical series.

The hydraulic reserve has increased to 32.9% of its total capacity this week, in which 195 cubic hectometres of water have been collected, which represents 0.3%, according to data from the Ministry for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, which indicates that there are currently 18,444 cubic hectometres of dammed water.

This week, the rainfall has been abundant on the Atlantic slope and has affected the Mediterranean slope to a lesser extent and the greatest amount has been collected in Vigo (Pontevedra), with 132.5 litres per square metre.

By areas, the reserve is at 60.3% in the Eastern Cantabrian Sea; 55.5% in Western Cantabrian; 58.8% in Galicia Coast; 61.9%, the internal basins of the Basque Country; 64.2% in Red, Odiel and Piedras and 52.4% percent, Júcar.

However, the Miño-Sil basins remain below half of their total capacity, which is at 45.1%; Duero, 34.3%; Tajo, 38.8%; Guadiana, 23%; 21.6%, Guadalete Barbate; 18.6% the Guadalquivir; 33.9%, the Andalusian Mediterranean basin; Safe, 32.6%; the Ebro, at 35.4% and the internal basins of Catalonia, are at 33.8%.

One more week you have to go back to 1995 to find the reservoirs with less water than at this time. In that year, in week 47, the hydraulic reserve was at 26.84%, more than six points less than in this week in 2022.

The reservoirs currently store 35.04% less water than the average of the last ten years and 15.89% less than on the same dates last year.

In the rest of the continent, the data speaks for itself: according to The Atlantic, the levels of reservoirs and rivers have fallen to historic lows. Additionally, July was the driest month on record in France and the hottest month in Spain since records began, 1961. More than 100 French municipalities have had drinking water restrictions.

How many people from Alicante will benefit from the relief measures for those with mortgages?

After several months of negotiations with the main employers in the financial sector, the Council of Ministers approved on Tuesday a package of measures that will alleviate the situation of those families that have been particularly affected by the increase in mortgage payments. Some measures that improve those that were already contemplated in the so-called Code of Good Practices that was adopted in 2012 to stop the wave of evictions after the crisis and that, above all, expand the number of possible beneficiaries by also including middle incomes.

A decision that is adopted in the face of the unstoppable rise of the Euribor, which in the last year has gone from -0.477% to close this October at 2.629%, which has meant an increase in prices of more than 163 euros per month – about 1,958 euros per year – For an average mortgage in the province, where the amount requested is usually around 105,000 euros.

A situation that has put many family budgets to the test, since, according to the data provided by the Vice President of Economic Affairs, Nadia Calviño, up to 70.5% of the loans for the purchase of a home that are in force in These moments in Spain are at a variable rate.

In this way, the package of measures provides important improvements for vulnerable families who could already benefit from the current Code of Good Practices, which number some 350,000 throughout the country, in addition to creating another temporary framework for middle-class families at risk of vulnerability. , a definition where another 750,000 households would fit. Thus, in total in the country as a whole, up to 1.1 million mortgagees would benefit.

If we take into account that Alicante accounts for 4.2% of all mortgages granted in Spain in the last ten years, according to National Institute of Statistics data, this means that more than 46,000 families could benefit in the province.

As for the first group, vulnerable families are considered to be those with an income of less than 25,200 euros -three times the IPREM-, who have seen an increase in the effort to pay the mortgage by at least 50% and who spend more than half of his income. In this case, the possibility of a grace period of five years was already contemplated, in which interest is now lowered from the current Euribor +0.25% to Euribor -0.10. In addition, a debt restructuring may be requested on more than one occasion and the term to request the payment is extended to two years, in case of not being able to meet the instalments even with the reduction.

Households that do not meet the requirement of increasing the mortgage effort by 50% may request a grace period of two years, a reduction in the interest rate and an extension of the repayment period of up to seven years.

For its part, new measures are adopted for families with an income of up to 29,400 euros, who have seen the quota increase by at least 20% and who allocate more than 30% of their income to pay the mortgage. In this case, you may request the freezing of instalments for one year, a reduction in the interest rate during the same period and, likewise, an extension of the repayment period of seven years.

In addition, for all those with mortgages, commissions for early repayment and conversion from fixed to variable rate will be eliminated over the next year, so that those who wish and have the money can thus lower the monthly instalments.

After approval by the Council of Ministers and once agreed with the main employers in the sector, now it will be the banks who individually must join these measures voluntarily. Of course, once they do, they will be obliged to apply them. The entities will have one month to inform their clients of the possibility of requesting them.

For now, the main banks, such as Sabadell, Santander, BBVA or CaixaBank, have already shown their willingness to sign the agreement.

The Consell will invest 1.7 million in the remodelling of the Orihuela home for the Oriol residence

The Generalitat will invest 1.7 million euros to convert the old Orihuela home into the new headquarters of the Oriol occupational centre and residence in order to unify all care services for people with functional diversity in a single building. It is a first remodelling so that the 27 users of the residence, who since the DANA of 2019 were relocated to the centre for dependents Delfina Viudes in Torrevieja, return to the municipality as soon as possible.

This was announced by the vice president and councillor for Equality and Inclusive Policies, Aitana Mas, in a meeting with the mayor of the town, Carolina Gracia, and representatives of the AMPA of the Oriol centre.

According to sources consulted, the goal is that at the end of this first phase the transfer will be carried out in the first quarter of 2024. Mas explained that the Ministry “initially contemplates the rehabilitation of a part of the old asylum building so that residents can return to Orihuela with all the security guarantees”. In the words of Antonio Trujillo, president of the AMPA, in this way “users displaced to Torrevieja would return to their home, which is Orihuela.”

This is a provisional measure until the full rehabilitation of the institute is carried out, which could last for three years. The Consell announced the acquisition of the property in the summer of 2021, although it was finally resolved at the end of September for an amount of 4 million euros. Then, the mayoress advanced that the works would begin “immediately” after the notarial signature, which will take place this Wednesday in the plenary hall of the City Council. However, she would still be pending the tender for the drafting of the project and later the award of the works.

Parallel to that horizon of early 2024, it is also intended to urgently rehabilitate the Palmeral building, where they were located before the floods. Since then, the 35 users of the Oriol occupational centre and the Center for Rehabilitation and Social Integration (CRIS) have also been scattered, in this case in the La Aparecida civic centre, without a dining service and with other material deficiencies.

With an investment of around 1.5 million euros, in a little over a year these services would be provided again instead. Finally, “this great family that broke with DANA 1,200 days ago would be reunited,” Trujillo said. In Mas’s opinion, although it may seem “an ambitious plan, Orihuela will once again be provided with the facilities that were lost after the DANA”.

Users and families have been waiting for more than three years for these services to be concentrated again in the same building in the municipality and with sufficient human and material resources, something that has even been disapproved by the Sindic de Greuges, which 34 months after the torrential rains of September 2019, it issued a forceful report in July in which it denounced the lack of attention due to the “passivity, lack of coordination and constant delays and ups and downs” of the Generalitat and the City Council, to those who urged to correct the “deficiencies, deficiencies and the decrease in care and protection” suffered by the residents of the Oriol centre, in provisional facilities for three years.

The resolution urged the Ministry to give “the definitive impulse” to the purchase of the old asylum to “proceed immediately with the rehabilitation and reform, adapting the space to the needs repeatedly claimed” -and also verified-, at the same time as requested to indicate what resources and what number of places will be located in the new property.

Likewise, it required the City Council to contribute to restoring attention, as well as to allocate the amounts received by the insurance companies -565,434 euros- for the damages caused in the centre of Palmeral to the rehabilitation of properties for the same purpose, and proceed to carry out the modifications of budgetary credit that were necessary to recover resources and social benefits.

According to Mas, in a second phase of the plan “the Ministry intends to remodel and build new facilities attached to that building that will allow increasing the number of public squares in Vega Baja, in order to get out of this repeated abandonment of the previous Council to a such an important region for the Valencian Community”.

The collapse of the pumping of the Hombre del Mar sewerage in Torrevieja pours thousands of cubic metres into the sea with heavy rains

The pumping facilities of the Torrevieja sewerage network let thousands of cubic metres of wastewater mixed with rainwater escape into the sea every time there are episodes of heavy rainfall. One of the discharges that can be seen with the naked eye if there is a certain amount of rainfall, is located in the pumping spillway on the Juan Aparicio promenade, located next to the Monument of the Man of the Sea (hombre del mar). The installation belongs to the Sanitation Entity of the Generalitat (EPSAR) and is maintained by the municipal company for the management of the Torrevieja water cycle.

The last spill occurred on November 11th when accumulated rains of up to 60 litres per square metre were recorded in the centre of Torrevieja. A volume of rainfall concentrated in just four hours. But they also occur with more moderate rainfall. It is enough that they exceed 25 or 30 litres per square metre and that this rain occurs in less than two hours for the pumping stations above ground level -not only that of the Man of the Sea-, located next to the coast or in the most close to the Torrevieja lagoon, have capacity problems and overflow on the surface.

The saturation of the network in many cases does not occur so much due to the lack of capacity of the pumping stations themselves. It is more related to the limitation of the dimensions and the capacity of the pipes that must lead the pumped water to the Torrevieja treatment plant. Faced with the danger of the pipes breaking at any point along their route, the safest option is to allow the water to be evacuated through a “safe” exit.

The network of pumping stations in Torrevieja is made up of 28 installations, thirteen of which belong to the Generalitat’s Sanitation Entity, the body that manages the treatment plants in most of the town halls of the Valencian Community.

The Hombre del Mar facility pumps between 30 and 40% of the wastewater generated in Torrevieja; more than ten thousand cubic metres per day in high season. In the case of this pumping in the promenade in which the mixed company Agamed carries out weekly maintenance with the deployment of technicians and vehicles, the City Council already proposed to the Sanitation Entity of the Generalitat in 2004 the first project to expand it. And he specified this need again in another project from 2008. At that time, the necessary investment already represented more than two million euros in cost, which, with updated prices and technical changes, could now reach three million.

This pumping has given problems on many occasions. In the summer of 2019, the pipe that connects it to the treatment plant, which runs parallel to the Acequión beach, burst, and the City Council had to close the beach due to the discharge of wastewater.

It has also requested co-financing from the Generalitat for the expansion of the collectors that connect the pumping station on Jorge Manrique street in La Torreta Florida, another of the facilities that causes the most problems in the event of flooding. The municipal company has already assumed this year a part of the improvement of that facility with drainage areas and a storm tank, without waiting for the EPSAR to expand the collector.



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