One and a half million cubic litres of drinking water, enough to supply a town of 20,000 inhabitants for one year, has, in effect, been stolen in Madrid.
SEPRONA, the branch of the Guardia Civil dedicated to the protection of nature and the natural environment, has so far carried out 250 inspections this year in the Madrid area. It has detected 99 actual robberies and 281 other offences and a total of 93 people have so far been arrested and formally been charged with fraud.
Some of the offences relate to the illegal use of the water by construction companies, some of whom then supplied the water to residential or industrial sites.
Using sophisticated equipment, SEPRONA has been able to detect illegal pipelines tapping into the water supply, some of which have turned out to be more than two kilometres in length.