The Ministry of agriculture and environment and the CHS have this week begun a special campaign to clear canes from the banks of the rivers Segura and Mula.
The works will continue right the way through July and into the middle of August , covering a distance of 80km along the banks of the two rivers through the municipalities of Abarán, Blanca, Ojós, Ulea, Villanueva del Segura, Archena, Ceutí, Lorquí, Alguazas, Las Torres de Cotillas, Molina de Segura and Murcia.
70 kilometres of the works are destined for the banks of the Segura, between Abarán and Murcia, and 10km along the River Mula, from just below the dam of Los Rodeos to the meeting point with the Segura. The works also include cleaning up of river banks and planting new trees.
In total the clean up will cost just over a million euros.
Although the canes and reeds look very attractive along the waterways of the region, they are particularly invasive and unless intensively controlled can completely clog up the waterways, impeding the passage of water. At this time of year, there is very little flow in the rivers but as the winter rains begin, the heavy volumes of water put intense pressure on the system and the unimpeded passage of water is vital to minimise the possibility of blockage and rivers bursting banks.
It's also important to keep the level of canes down to avoid build up in the population of mosquitoes, and this year the works are being carried out in collaboration with all 12 councils involved to facilitate preventative spraying as the cutting progresses. Works are normally carried out during the summer months at the end of the spring nesting season, although in some parts of the river network within the region it's necessary to work throughout the year.
It's not a question of cutting canes by hand, although this is done in some of the areas with more difficult access, much of the work is done by heavy machinery which digs out or cuts the canes, then removes the cut material to avoid the risk of blocking the rivers, and cutting is also done from the rivers themselves by boat.
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