An estimated 500,000 people have proclaimed their right to water in the city of Murcia in southern Spain.
Specifically, they were calling for the continuation of a long established transfer of the precious resource from the Tage river near Madrid to the southern region bordering the Segura river. But in 2015 the government has decided the tap will be turned off. It is an agreement going back decades. Water has long been piped through to the agriculturally rich south at a nominal price. But now the needs are growing in urban conurbations in the north. Experts say Spain must develop a more sustainable water policy – the existing hydraulic system is inadequate and expensive – they claim sea water desalination is more economic and ecological.