There is consensus that many of these infrastructures are an opportunity for municipalities in the process of depopulation. But the management of public space, private interests, maintenance costs, environmental regulations and climatic uncertainty are difficult to get along.
Marcel Vila is the son of Sant Llorenç de Morunys and lives in Guixers, two municipalities that share the waters of La Llosa with Navès.
For two years he saw how this reservoir, the newest in Catalonia was filling up until its inauguration in 1998. ” It is a millennial swamp” , he jokes. He does not remember that there was opposition from the neighbors, on the contrary, but he confesses that he misses when as a child he bathed in the river and the landscape was wilder.
Six years ago he founded the company Relleus , which rents kayaks in the Els Estevats area, and on the last Friday in August he could barely cope. Years ago, people came with their canoes or to bathe.
There were not more than a dozen, but since the covid up to 400 cars have accumulated in one day , as if it were a campsite in Castelldefels in the 70s.
After years of work by the Berguedà Regional Council, the Baells Uses Plan is a benchmark for another 16 reservoirs when it comes to putting order in the various water activities.
“We had always thought that the Baells was a wasted water reservoir and that it could be a shock to the Berguedà – says Josep Lara, president of the Consell We are very excited”.
But the improvement of accesses and concessions to mountain sports companies have led to putting chains in the way to some reservoirs , which has aroused regular users who pay to navigate or fish in inland waters.
For Jesús Calderer, mayor of Cercs, the problems caused by the intensive use of the environment “are only fixed with vigilance, but this has a cost”. ” If many rules are put in place but no one enforces them, it is chaos,” he added .
Albert Palau, from the Indòmit Center d’Aventura in Vilada, has been denounced for putting chains on accesses that his company has fixed. He had high hopes for the Uses Plan, but if the situation is not clarified, he considers closing .
The president of the Font Gran de Cercs Sports Fishing Association, which groups around 80 fans, complains because there are very few accesses and the chains prevent the fishermen, who are loaded with material to practice bloodless fishing for carp, pike and Catfish, can drive to the water’s edge without having to ask for permission.
“I was born here and have been fishing since I have a notion -he account-. We have a license and we pay to fish. Here are the largest pike in Europe . We could have a sports club and a fishing school, but they are not interested. They are kicking us out of the swamp ” .
Another of the paradoxes of the reconversion of this reservoir is how ideas such as the creation of floating islands of vegetation can coexist to encourage bird watching with an industrial waste incineration plant for energy generation like the one that was going to be installed in the old one. Cercs thermal.
The region rose up against this project and the Generalitat ended up knocking it down for an urban issue, but the controversy is still alive in the courts. The promoter has filed a contentious-administrative appeal and the Cercs Anti-incinerator Platform will present itself as the affected party.
On the other hand, the mayor considers that it had to be studied: “We are told that we have to make a living from tourism, but this is not enough to live. The administration is very restrictive.”