MATAS TOLD TO PUT HIS MONEY WHERE HIS MOUTH IS

region's new mobile desalination plants coming into operation, to launch a fresh attack on Spanish Environment Minister, Juame Matas, who he asked to “stop talking” and start signing water agreements. Antich urged Matas to stop making “grand announcements” and to set to work helping to resolve the Balearic water problem. Yesterday, five mobile desalination units were brought into operation in the bay of Palma and will be able to guarantee water for the region. Matas, however is against the mobile unit project and has made it clear that he and his department would rather see permanent plants being built. During talks with Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar last week, Antic was given assurance that central government would do all it could to help bring about a rapid solution to the Balearics water crisis. Antich said yesterday that he hopes Matas will do what Aznar has promised. The five desalination units in Palma will be able to supply an extra 700 cubic metres of water per day and within the next two weeks, two more mobile units will be operational in Andratx producing 1'000 cubic metres per day. By the end of the month, two more units will be brought into operation for the area between Calvia and Andratx and the project will come to an end during the first week of September with the final mobile unit being installed in Son Ferrer to help boost the water supply in the Calvia area. The Son Ferrer plant will be capable of producing 5'000 cubic metres of water per day. While the mobile units will provide a temporary solution to the water shortage, Palma wants to know what Madrid and Matas are planning for the future.

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