FORTUNA, Spain — Lush fields of lettuce and hothouses of tomatoes line the roads. Verdant new developments of plush pastel vacation homes beckon buyers from Britain and Germany. Golf courses — dozens of them, all recently built — give way to the beach. At last, this hardscrabble corner of southeast Spain is thriving.

There is only one problem with the picture of bounty: this province, Murcia, is running out of water. Swaths of southeast Spain are steadily turning into desert, a process spurred on by global warming and poorly planned development.

Murcia, traditionally a poor farming region, has undergone a resort-building boom in recent years, even as many of its farmers have switched to more thirsty crops, encouraged by water transfer plans, which have become increasingly untenable. The combination has put new pressures on the land and its dwindling supply of water.

See the rest of this story in the New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/03/world/europe/03dry.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

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