SO far this year rainfall in Majorca is 50 percent less than 1999, Minorca 34 percent less and in Ibiza, 43 percent less rain has fallen during the first six months of this year. But it appears that help from central government in Madrid is finally at hand with the cabinet yesterday approving Environment Minister Jaume Matas's proposal for a three billion peseta Spanish water plan, of which 48.062 million pesetas will be invested in the Balearics. The announcement in Madrid came on the same day the first four mobile desalination units arrived in the port of Alcudia and yesterday afternoon, the first of which was in place at its Sant Joan de Deu site in Palma. According to the Balearic government, once in place, the mobile units will be in operation as quickly as possible. The National Water Plan drawn up by the former Balearic Chief Minister Jaume Matas and his team takes into account the increasing demand for water over the next 25 years and the Environment Minister still believes that the Balearic government should accept his offer of building four new permanent desalination plants in the Balearics, the cost of which will be covered by the Environment Ministry. Matas does not believe the mobile units offer a long term solution to the water problem facing the islands. As its stands, the National Water Plan will involve the construction of a new desalination plant in Ibiza and a new pipeline being built from Sa Costera to the Bay of Palma. Central government has called a meeting of the National Water Council for September 5 to discuss Matas's water plan which not only includes major improvements to the infrastructure and supply network, but also guidelines on stricter and better management of natural resources, particularly in drought stricken regions like the

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