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Juanma Moreno on Thursday. Europa Press
Head of Junta de Andalucía warns 30 days of rain are needed to stave off supply cuts or restrictions in cities and large towns
Drought crisis

Head of Junta de Andalucía warns 30 days of rain are needed to stave off supply cuts or restrictions in cities and large towns

Juanma Moreno, president of the regional government, has called on local councils to spend more of their budgets on repairing leaking supply pipes

Héctor Barbotta / SUR

Seville / Malaga

Friday, 19 January 2024, 09:35

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The heavy rain seen earlier this week on the Costa del Sol and in Malaga province has failed to make an impact on the area’s almost empty reservoirs, although for now it appears the levels have stabilised.

With the drought therefore still very much here, on Thursday the Andalusian president, Juanma Moreno, became more serious, warning that a whole 30 days of rain is now needed if the larger towns and cities are to escape eventual water cuts or restrictions.

So far restrictions have tended to hit smaller municipalities in the region, including Malaga province, although Fuengirola last week became the first larger place locally to cut back water pressure at night.

Moreno said, “Where there is no water, there is no agriculture or tourism. Just ask Fuengirola, with 90,000 people, where they have sensibly lowered the pressure. In a few months it will be places with a population of 200,000; and then the problem will spread everywhere.”

Rainfall so far this month in Malaga province is in line with an average January, although for today (Friday) a yellow weather warning for the Axarquía area may finally improve the extremely low level of La Viñuela reservoir, the province’s largest.

Juanma Moreno made his comments at the latest meeting of the expert committee studying measures to alleviate the effect of drought in Andalucía.

More crisis funds

The regional government plans to approve another 200 million euros of measures at the end of the month. These include more help for struggling farmers and money to town halls to stop more leaks.

Moreno called on the public to save water and for different levels of government to work together to achieve results.

While also criticising central government, which is responsible for managing supply of two thirds of the water catchment areas of Andalucia, he explained, Moreno paid special attention to local councils. He asked town mayors to do more to safeguard water supply, spending money on “those improvements the public cannot see”, such as stopping underground leaks from local pipe networks, the cause of most water loss.

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