Saturday, 8 November 2003

Un modelo a seguir

A pocos metros de la laguna, puede verse una fuente en la que el sistema de mantenimiento es el tradicional. «Esto es una muestra de la cultura del usar y tirar, de una falta de conciencia ambiental», afirma Eugenio López -en la imagen- quien hace un llamamiento a las autoridades locales para que se fijen en el recién creado humedal universitario a la hora de construir y mantener espacios naturales dentro de la ciudad.

En menos de un año, la singular fuente que caracteriza al campus de Ourense ha cambiado su aspecto. Por dentro y por fuera. Un proyecto encargado desde la oficina de Medio Ambiente de la Universidad de Vigo y realizado por un profesor de la Facultad de Ciencias de Ourense ha logrado convertir aquel recinto de agua clorada en una auténtica laguna en la que ya existe vida.

El objetivo del proyecto era, principalmente, el del ahorro. La fuente tenía hasta el momento en el que dio comienzo la iniciativa un gasto de mantenimiento de 3.000 euros al año y un consumo anual de agua cercano a los 2.000 metros cúbicos. Era necesario realizar un vaciado y una limpieza general cada dos meses, lo que además, implicaba un enorme gasto en personal y productos de desinfección.
Ahora todo es diferente. «Se trata de tener otra mentalidad, de abandonar la cultura de usar y tirar», afirma Eugenio López, director del proyecto. Y no sólo ha variado la forma de mantenimiento, sino también el aspecto. Una capa verde cubre hoy la laguna. «Hemos querido recuperar las zonas húmedas que había antiguamente en el barrio de As Lagoas», afirma el docente.

Desde el 12 de octubre del 2002 no se ha vuelto ha vaciar el agua del recinto. La introducción en ella de varias especies de algas y caracoles que eliminan el nitrógeno y el fósforo y ayudan a degradar la materia orgánica ha sido clave para lograr este objetivo. Bajo un manto verde, el líquido elemento luce cristalino y sin olores pero, eso sí, los cambios no la hacen inmune al daño humano, el peor de todos. «Lo único que requiere para conservarse es buena educación», comenta el responsable de que el proyecto se haya hecho realidad.

Los vándalos ya han puesto a prueba su pericia. En diciembre del pasado año, coincidiendo con las movilizaciones por el desastre del Prestige, un grupo de personas vertió fuel sobre la fuente, que por aquel momento vivía una etapa de cambio. «Aunque no dejó de ser una gamberrada que nos perjudicó, también fue una oportunidad para poner a prueba nuestra capacidad. Tuvimos que emplearnos a fondo para limpiarla, pero al final fue un éxito y toda una experiencia para los estudiantes», afirma Eugenio quien no da por terminada su peculiar iniciativa. «Queremos crear alrededor de la laguna una zona protegida que sirva de refugio para distintas aves que puedan vivir aquí, como los patos», dice. Además, una vez estabilizado el mantenimiento del agua por sí misma, se cortará el suministro en los dos chorros que actualmente tiene la fuente. De esa forma el parecido, por dentro y por fuera, con una laguna será total. Ese será el verdadero objetivo de un proyecto del que Ourense presume en exclusiva.

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