March 2018 News Headlines

Top price summer rentals help to push up house prices

March 31st
A specialist report points to summer resorts in the Marina Alta as among the most expensive summer rental rates at €5000 a month in Moraira and €4000 in Xàbia. Prices, and therefore that profitability, have skyrocketed with the emergence in this market of giant platforms such as Airbnb, Wimdu or HomeAway and has caused even an increase in the purchase of homes that are used for this purpose. The study was carried out by one of those operators with a strong presence in the Comunitat, HomeAway, and contains the destinations where the owners can earn more to rent out their home during the summer. The estimated monthly profit for the summer period, which runs from June 1 to August 31 can reach €4320 €in Xàbia. As a consequence of this situation in Calpe, workers have to find lodging in nearby towns such as Benissa. From La Marina Plaza.

Fast-track electric car charging point on Valencia-Madrid motorway

March 31st
Spain's first express charging point for electronically-powered and hybrid cars will beset up shortly halfway down the A-3 Valencia-Madrid motorway. Provided by Tesla Spain, S.A., the charger will be installed at kilometre 175 of the A-3 at the service station in the town of Atalaya de Cañavate in the province of Cuenca, the only one that lies between those of Valencia and Madrid. For full story see: ThinkSpain

Spanish Electricity prices per MWh 'lowest in EU' this week

March 31st
Electricity in Spain became the cheapest in the European Union on Thursday and has remained so ever since – the second time this has happened in a fortnight. Retail prices per megawatt per hour (MWh) dropped to €22.91. This meant the price of energy in Spain fell far below those of Sweden, Norway and Denmark, which typically register the lowest in the EU and the EEA at around €41 per MWh. This plummeting in costs is partly due to a greater production in wind energy providing electricity to the national grid – with storms having re-entered Galicia from the Atlantic this week and now sweeping Spain as a whole, wind farms have seen energy generated soar by 62.7% this month compared with March last year, to 6,937 gigawatts per hour (GWh), or 32.9% of the total, way ahead of nuclear sources, which made up just 19.2% of the total power created. Torrential rain across the mainland and Balearic Islands as a result of the string of storms since the start of the year mean hydraulic energy production has shot up, whilst combined sources only make up 5.9% of total power generated and coal just 5.4%. Since the start of the year, electricity production has been made up of 26.5% wind – making this the main source for 2018 so far – 21.5% nuclear, 13.5% hydraulic, 12.2% coal and 8.5% combined sources, with generators providing 11%. for full story see: ThinkSpain

Drought drags on and affects irrigated crops

March 31st
The last rains have not ended the drought. The reservoirs in the Júcar basin are at 30% of their capacity, while those of the Segura barely reach 22.4%, almost 40 points below the Spanish average which stands at 60.2%.The lack of rain in the Region (meteorological drought) has been dragging on since 2013. The area destined for irrigation in the Region has reduced by 2.96%. in 2017 irrigated crops in the Region comprise 290,126 hectares of a cultivated area of ​​642,197 (45.1% against 21 , 9% of the Spanish average). 69.6% of the irrigated area in the Region uses localised (drip feed) systems, while the gravity fed irrigation is falling and now below 30% of the total. Even so, during the past year about 20,000 hectares of irrigated land were lost. This is contrary to the rest of Spain where irrigated crops grew by 2.14% in 2017. from: Las Provincias

Xàbia analyses its strengths and weaknesses in the face of drought

March 23rd
Some forty representatives from different social groups organised as members of Xàbia's 'Observatorio del Agua' met at the municipality's desalination plant yesterday to analyse the weaknesses and strengths of the town in its management of water supply and discuss alternative measures and proposals to addresses any weaknesses exposed by the analysis. The workshop was attended by mayor José Chulvi, Josep Lluis Henarejos, manager of the municipal water company, and Nuria Hernández-Mora, coordinator of the project developed by the 'Fundación Nueva Cultura del Agua'. Those attending were told that it was certain that the region will be hit by another drought and that although it was impossible to eliminate its effects, it can be managed and the consequences reduced if a plan was in place to do so. Therefore it was vital to look at and understand the causes that make Xàbia vulnerable to drought, to identify its strengths to use to face the problem and put in place a policy through which decision-making can be made easier in emergency situations. Xàbia is one of the three municipalities collaborating with the 'Fundación Nueva Cultura del Agua' in 'Proyecto SeGuía' to develop a methodological guide for the in-house development of drought risk management plans. The document will have three fundamental advantages for the municipality. Firstly, Xàbia will become a pioneering town in the management of droughts and assisting other municipalities in the country who want to develop similar management plans in drought risk prevention. Secondly, as a pilot municipality, the technical team of the Foundation will help to review the specific drought management plan for Xàbia. And thirdly, the active participation of all interested parties in the process will allow learning and strengthen the social capacities to improve the management of risks due to drought in the municipality. For full story see: Javeamigos. The SeGuía project can be found on: Proyecto seGuía

Xàbia picks up on idea from the Mediterranean forum:Commercial fishing as a tourist attraction

March 22nd
The Department of Tourism and the Fishermen's Guild have joined together to create and present a joint project in which they will be working hand in hand with consultation company 'Feel and Trip' to open up the world of commercial fishing to the public. It is an initiative related to experiential tourism which allows those interested to take part and be directly involved in the industry from departure from the port in the early morning, experiencing life on board including its many jobs and ultimately the reward of being able to sample some of the fresh fish and seafood that has been caught during this special day. The idea of a fishing tourism project was established in the last 'Xàbia Mediterranean Fórum' on sustainable tourism, and forms part of the town's commitment to sustainability, opening up the port to another form of tourism which offers cultural immersion as well as respect for the natural environment. In addition the project will place an added value of the local fishing industry, helping to make the primary sector more profitable. Mayor Chulvi explained that the town needed a living port, open and active, which was why the idea was proposed to the fishing industry to place Xàbia as a unique tourist destination and boost the local economy. Twenty people (five crews) are already being trained to be part of 'Pesca Turismo', funded by the Ayuntamiento de Xàbia to the tune of 9,000 euros. For full story see: Javeamigos

The Marine Biodiversity of Xàbia should be treasured

March 6th
The Valencian Oceanographic Foundation visited Xàbia this week to present the first results of its study into the marine biodiversity of the precious seabed off the coast of the municipality, a project to raise awareness of its huge importance and the need for its conservation. Representatives from the Foundation outlined its initial findings in a special presentation at the Ayuntamiento de Xàbia which included major proposals to make local people aware of the wealth of marine life hidden beneath the waves and how important it is to preserve it. The selection of Xàbia as the centre of this study was not a random choice but was motivated by the fact that, together with the Illes Columbretes, the sea off the coast of the municipality hosts some of the greatest biodiversity along the Valencian coast in an area which has a lot of pressure from tourism. Three inspection dives have been made to inspect the seabed, take samples of the Posidonia Oceania seagrass which is endemic to the Mediterranean and inspect the impact left by vessels anchoring along the coast during the busy summer months. In additional the study has evaluated the socio-economic aspect to place a value on the marine biodiversity of the area and establish what its loss would mean, both for the wellbeing of the local people as well as for basic services. The next phase will be educational to highlight the results of the study to social agents and involve them in the conservation and control of marine biodiversity. This sill be achieved through such campaigns as exhibitions, documentaries and discussions in schools. For full story see: Javeamigos

An extreme February

March 6th
February has been characterized by climatological contrasts in the region. In general terms the month has been colder than usual with an average temperature of 7.2º when the reference average 8.8º (1.6º lower). But at the same time there have been many days with records higher than 20º. On the 15th the 25th was reached in Sumacárcer. The coldest days were between the 6th and 9th. Mediterranean moist air before the 6th generated copious snowfalls in large areas, which exceeded 25 centimeters in the interior of the province of Castellón. Afterwards the combination of cold air, few clouds and snow-covered ground resulted in temperatures that were below -6ºC in places like Vilafranca (-8.3ºC), Ademuz (-7.9ºC) and Fredes (- 6.2ºC). The month of February was the third coldest in the last 25 years, after those of 2005 and 2012 On the other hand accumulated rainfall was high at 49.5 litres per square meter, 30% higher than the climatic average of the period 1981-2010 (38.2 litres). Although rainfall in January and February has reduced the rainfall deficit from 85 to 50%, almost the entire territory shows a lack of rainfall in the current hydrological year. The deficit is more pronounced in the northern half of the territory. From Las Provincias

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