EX-POST EVALUATION OF THE CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW DESALINATION PLANT AND ENLARGEMENT OF AN EXISTING DESALINATION PLANT IN ÁGUILAS, MURCIA, SPAIN
Free (open access)
129 - 137
ARMANDO ORTUÑO PADILLA, MARÍA DEL MAR MORENO, JAIRO CASARES
This paper illustrates the main results of work in progress for a project that has been funded by the European Commission. Under the supervision of CSIL (Centre for Industrial Studies), it reports the story of the construction of the new desalination plant in Águilas/enlargement of Águilas desalination plant, a project co-financed by the European Union during the programming period 2000–2006. More specifically, this is an ex-post evaluation assessing the long-term effects produced by the investment and aimed at understanding the mechanisms and determinants likely to have contributed to produce these effects. The analysis draws on an ex-post cost–benefit analysis and an extensive set of qualitative evidence, both secondary (official reports, press articles, books and research papers) and primary (site visits and interviews with key stakeholders and experts that were carried out in October and November 2018). The project is considered to be successful overall as it achieved its intended primary objectives. The cost of desalinated water produced by the new plant was €325,274 per cubic hectometer in 2017. When considering its impact on the served population, the final assessment is unambiguously positive, given the measurable effects on employment, diversification of traditional crops and boosting agriculture technology in the area. Besides these effects, interviews with local stakeholders have revealed that additional, complementary water-saving investments are planned on infrastructure for water storage and irrigation modernization as a consequence of this project implementation, assuring the sustainability of this investment for future generations in the Alto Guadalentín county.
desalination plant, desalinated water, cost–benefit analysis, drought, Spanish river basins, European Union, environmental effects, agriculture, economic growth, aquifer