Last year, the Civil Guard carried out 1,724 inspections in various farms and detected 1,342 illegal infrastructures to collect water, mostly wells, while 92 people have been arrested and investigated for the commission of 106 crimes.
Some of these infrastructures served for irrigation of extensive crop fields. “The most common crimes are crimes against natural resources and the environment, territorial planning and water and electricity fraud,” explains the Seprona spokesperson.
In total, 92 people have been arrested for commit more than 100 crimes against illegal water extraction. The Axarquía region, Málaga, is where they have detected the most illegal wells, up to 250. It is estimated that they have withdrawn more than 25 million cubic meters of water, illegal extractions that could exceed 10 million euros in damages.
During the last three years, the Civil Guard and Seprona have developed a campaign to combat desertification to protect this very scarce asset. They use a technology known as remote sensing, data that allows analyzing the evolution of land uses and agricultural practices carried out on any rural property.