Local Daily News 6th August

Government and irrigators seal a preliminary agreement so that the water from the Júcar reaches Alicante at 0.26 euros/m3 until 2033

The Central Board of Users of the Júcar-Vinalopó Transfer has reached an agreement with the Júcar Hydrographic Confederation and the state company Acuamed – the bases of the future agreement will have to be ratified by the general assembly of the Board and the Minister of Transition Ecológica Teresa Ribera – to set the operating regulations for the Júcar-Vinalopó transfer for, in theory, a period of ten years, between 2023 and 2033.

The agreement sets a maximum price for irrigation water of 0.26 euros per cubic meter, and Acuamed’s commitment to progressively increase the amount of irrigation water from the initial 12 hm³ next year to a total of 37.5 hm³ in 2033. A flow that will rise year after year that will include in its rate, if it is finally approved, the controversial amortization of the 200 million euros that the Government endorsed to the users of the water of Vinalopó, l`Alacantí and Marina Baixa, after changing the water intake from Cortes de Pallás to the Azud de la Marquesa, where there are still quality problems.

Another of the advances to set the definitive bases for the Júcar-Vinalopó transfer is that the Júcar Hydrographic Confederation commits itself to the town councils and farmers continuing to extract water from the aquifers. For urban use, groundwater is guaranteed – raising desalinated water to the Middle and Upper Vinalopó is an economic nonsense – and farmers will capture less flow as it flows through the transfer pipes, according to Ángel Urbina, spokesman for the Board Central.

The Generalitat Valenciana, responsible for the execution of the pipes that allow the water from the Júcar to reach all the irrigation communities of Alto and Medio Vinalopó, should also enter the agreement, since many only have access to water from wells, since the projects to connect with the post-transfer are not even drafted and they do not have ponds to store water.

The Júcar-Vinalopó will also incorporate photovoltaic energy for its management (70 million euros of state investment) throughout the ten years that the execution of the works will last, in charge of the Ministry of Ecological Transition), which will end up lowering even more the price of water because the objective is that by 2033 the transfer works with green energy.

“We have laid the foundations to reach a good agreement, but now it must be the users and the upper echelons of the Ministry who ratify what was discussed in Madrid, but we have worked with data and I see a willingness to agree, which would be historic”, underlines Ángel Urbina . We are talking, however, of a Júcar-Vinalopó different from the one designed at the beginning of the century, since it will remain only for agriculture.

The agreement ends the problem of the obligation to stop extracting water from the aquifers. A flow of about 86 hm³ that had to be replaced by water from the Júcar transfer.

Remember that the decision of the CJH contemplated the prohibition of extracting 86 hm3 of the current 95 hm3 of groundwater for irrigation from the six aquifers from which irrigators and municipalities are supplied, which will be the only ones that will continue to have access, for the time being, to the 41.3 hm3 to which they are entitled. The approved proposal is to reduce by 90% the right and the concessions of the irrigators, who will have only 9.2 hm3 per year for the current 95.2 hm3. The problem is that the Júcar Confederation intended to take the step without having closed the amount that it will provide to farmers.

In the meeting held at the headquarters of the Ministry for the Ecological Transition in Madrid, Francisco Batarech, general director of Acuamed, Daniel Sanz, deputy general director of the Ecological Transition Water, Ángel Urbina, president of the General Community of the Middle Vinalopó, l `Alacanti and spokesman for the Central Board, Marc García, water commissioner of the Júcar Confederation, Teodoro Estrela, general director of the Ministry of Water, Antonio Berenguer, president of the Central Board of Users of Júcar-Vinalopó, Pedro Menor, president of the General Community of Alto Vinalopó and Fermín López, technical director of Acuamed.

The Ministry of Health will approve on Monday the care protocol for chemical puncture victims

The Ministry of Health plans to approve “at the latest next Monday” the new protocol to care for victims of cases of chemical submission via injection and that will also include training for health personnel on how to act in this new situation and the increase in complaints for alleged attacks, also in the Valencian Community. This has been assured by the Minister of Participation, Rosa Pérez Garijo, who has been in charge of appearing  Friday to account for the issues discussed at the plenary meeting of the Consell.

Garijo has indicated that the Minister of Health, Miguel Mínguez, has informed them that this protocol would be approved before Monday at the latest. The councilor has assessed that this new violence against women is “terrible”, but she has asked “not to create social alarm”. Thus, she has highlighted the importance that young people “do not stop going because of this danger” to leisure spaces, such as festivals and concerts, and more after these two years of pandemic.

In this regard, he stressed that the Botànic “has always worked for equality” and has fought against violence against women and stressed that it will also go hand in hand with the Government of Spain to stop this violence that “is of great concern”.

From the Ministry of Health they have explained to Europa Press that it is an update of the Protocol for comprehensive, health and judicial care for victims of sexual assault in the Valencian Community, which dates from 2019, to include a specific section on care for the victims of chemical submission with punctures.

The current guide already includes an annex to establish how the sample collection process should be in the health center in the event of suspected drugs facilitating sexual assault, which also establishes that the chain of custody “will be guaranteed in all moment and it will be documented”.

The transfer of health data is authorized, even without the consent of the interested party, when it is necessary for the performance of the judicial function. Likewise, the protocol indicates that it is “perfectly admissible” to transfer health data directly to agents of the State Security Forces and Bodies who intervene in the first proceedings as judicial police.

Benidorm will give 50 euros for the electricity bill to those over 65 years of age registered in the city

Electricity bills that increase exponentially and that makes it difficult for many families to pay them. Benidorm City Council will give 50 euros to those over 65 years of age registered in the city to try to alleviate the situation and prevent energy impoverishment. And it will do so through aid that will be a single payment and that will go to the residents of that group who own a home in the municipality.

Specifically, this aid will be managed through the Department of Social Welfare and a budget of 300,000 euros will be allocated for them. Thus, the City Council will face this expense together with the Diputación de Alicante, which co-finances them through a subsidy. The local government has not specified the exact number of people who will be able to access them, although it does explain that “in the event that once all the requests have been met, the 300,000 euros budgeted have not been exhausted, the remainder will be distributed among all the beneficiaries”. In this way, the initial aid of 50 euros could be increased to a maximum of 100 euros, according to Mayor Toni Pérez.

Who will be the beneficiaries? People over 65 years of age, who have been registered in Benidorm for at least the last 5 years uninterruptedly and who are owners or tenants of a home intended for their habitual residence, may apply for this aid. In addition, the rest of the members of the family unit, up to the third degree of consanguinity, who live in the house must also have reached the age of 65 and be registered in the city for the same period of 5 uninterrupted years, according to the bases of the aid approved by the City Council.

The aid may be requested from today, August 6th, at 8 a.m. electronically and with an electronic certificate at the Electronic Office of the City Council or from Monday, the 8th, in person at the General Registry of the City Council, at the José Llorca Linares, La Torreta, Jelena and Tanit social centers, in the administrative extensions (asking for an appointment) and in the dependencies of the Department of Social Welfare. Additionally, it may be submitted by certified mail, providing the required documentation and the application form, available at the Electronic Headquarters and at social centers.

Among the requirements, in addition to the application form, if you are the owner, you must provide the IBI receipt for 2021 paid, the DNI of all members of the family unit of coexistence, three electricity receipts paid in 2022, the document direct debit signed by the entity and a photocopy of the card or equivalent document. The tenants, for their part, must provide the rental contract -which must be for at least one year-, the DNI of all the members of the family unit of coexistence, three electricity bills paid this year, and the bank direct debit. In case of not being the owner of the received electricity, you must prove that you are in charge of this expense.

As established in the bases, published today in the Official Gazette of the Province (BOP), in the case of leases, it is not possible to be related by blood or affinity to any degree with the owner of the home. The deadline to apply for the aid ends on August 26th.

The mayor explained that “at a time when the cost of the shopping basket does not stop rising, when the rise in energy prices is repeated month after month and when there is great economic uncertainty, it is necessary to be side of our older people, who have been a support in many moments of crisis and who require an extraordinary contribution”.

These aids are added to another granted by the City Council in recent months such as the trade bonus, intended for all registered residents over 18 years of age without exception, or the recently released “Citizen Card” that will give 10 euros for urban transport to neighbors; the former, also those over 65 years of age who are users of the Gold Bonus and schoolchildren.

After knowing the granting of this aid, the PSOE in the City Council indicated that the proposal “does not meet the parameters of equity and social justice, basically because it does not take into account the income level of the applicants and because it is a linear subsidy and universal”. Spokesman Rubén Martínez indicated that “it is intended to give to anyone who requests it and until the funds are spent.” For him, “the logical thing in these proposals is that people who have greater economic needs can have priority and even receive a much higher amount than expected based on their socio-family situation and their income level.”

Bars and some shops may limit the use of air conditioning to 25 degrees

The Minister for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera, has specified that bars and restaurants can limit the use of air conditioning to “around 25 degrees”, taking into account the recommendations of the labor legislation, compared to 27 degrees contemplated by the royal decree on energy saving and efficiency measures approved by the Government.

In this sense, she has clarified that 27 degrees will be applied “with flexibility” and has given as an example that discos, kitchens and gyms need a different temperature than other spaces such as a bookstore.

“You cannot ask workers who are in conditions of important physical exercise not to have the conditions that labor law guarantees with respect to the maximum and minimum temperatures,” Ribera assured in statements to Onda Cero collected by Europa Press.

For this reason, businesses and establishments must justify when they do not apply the temperature limit in the thermostat, a flexibility incorporated in the decree law to protect the occupational health rights of their workers.

Ribera has pointed out that this first package of measures is designed for buildings for public use “with flexibilities” depending on the type of economic activity and the work carried out.

Thus, she has distinguished sedentary jobs –working in an office– from active jobs –activity in a restaurant–. “The decree law itself incorporates a call that wherever there are spaces where workers have to move and have physical exercise, it must be applied with the corresponding flexibility,” the minister clarified about the variation of the initial thermostat.

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