The Axarquía is currently the only area in Malaga at risk of drought

La Viñuela is 28.7 per cent full.
La Viñuela is 28.7 per cent full. / A. PELÁEZ
  • The regional government says that the higher levels of water in other reservoirs across the province is due to a lack of tourists

In a report released earlier this week, the regional government, Junta de Andalucía, declared that the Axarquía is the only area in Malaga province at risk of drought as the new water year commences.

The Junta's representative for Malaga, Fernando Tapia Ruano, said the 2019 to 2020 water year (the 12-month period from October to September used to measure precipitation totals) had been "dry", with rainfall 18 per cent lower than average in the province.

La Viñuela reservoir, which supplies the Axarquía, is currently standing at 28.7 per cent capacity, at a key time for the subtropical fruit industry in the area.

However, while the Axarquía has been warned of a risk of drought, other reservoirs in Malaga are starting the 2020-21 year with good levels of water. The Guadalhorce-Limonero is currently at 65.8 per cent capacity, which Tapia Ruano said was "enough for the year".

The Western Costa del Sol district has 17 cubic hectometres more than this time last year and La Concepción is 64.3 per cent full. Tapia Ruano put the higher levels down to a lack of tourists.

He said that the Junta was waiting for authorisation from Nerja town hall to take water from the Chíllar river to help the situation.

The mayor of Vélez-Málaga, Antonio Moreno, said he will meet with growers in the area to discuss their concerns as the mango harvest is in full swing and the avocado growing season under way.