Ignacio Lacomba, the Dean of the Valencian College of Biologists, took part in last Thursday’s Special Commission held in the Cortes Valencianas to deal with measures aimed at preventing flood risks in the Vega Baja.

Lacomba said that the floods in the Vega Baja take place on a recurring basis due to “the sinus Ilicitanus, a gulf that in Roman times channelled into the sea where the cities of Santa Pola and Guardamar del Segura are today, and which currently forms a large flood plain.

Therefore, according to the expert, “floods in this area cannot be avoided, only moderated.”

He said that the best long-term method of flood prevention is to act on erosion and waterproofing, restoring forest and agricultural vegetation, while stopping and reversing the expansion of the areas that are covered by asphalt, concrete and brick.

Lacomba warned that the unrestricted construction in flood plains “has the harmful consequence of hindering the penetration of flood water into the ground while subjecting people and property to the effects of the floods that are an inevitable result”.

In the case of Vega Baja, he indicated that something more than a conventional flood defence plan is required. “It is necessary to incorporate new measures that make us more resilient and capable of facing these destructive events with more diverse solutions.”