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La Viñuela currently stores 30.6 hectometres of water, twice as much as this time last year. E. C.
Axarquía must pay three million euros for water transferred from Malaga city
Drought crisis

Axarquía must pay three million euros for water transferred from Malaga city

Axaragua has approved an increase of 8.67 cents per cubic metre for the 14 towns and villages it serves

Eugenio Cabezas

Axarquía

Tuesday, 11 June 2024

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Following the considerable rainfall over Easter and the subsequent increase in reserves in La Viñuela reservoir in the east of Malaga province, which totals more than 30 cubic hectometres, almost double what it was a year ago, the area has stopped receiving water from Malaga city. This will not only improve the reserves for the city, but the municipalities in the Axarquía will also see an improvement in their water bills.

The water supplied by the municipal public company Emasa to Axaragua in the Axarquía has cost around 36 cents per cubic metre, practically double the cost Axaragua pays for the water from La Viñuela once treated at the El Trapiche water treatment plant in Vélez-Málaga, which is around 19 cents per cubic metre.

This has meant that Axaragua has had to face an extra cost of around three million euros for the water resources transferred in the last year and a half from the city, according to the president of the Mancomunidad Oriental association of town halls and president of Axaragua, Jorge Martín.

Increases

To try to alleviate the additional cost, and despite the fact that water from La Viñuela now has an average cost of around 19 cents, the Manomunidad approved at the end of May, after rejecting the allegations of several of the municipalities affected, an increase in of 8.67 cents per cubic metre for the 14 towns served by Axaragua.

Once this increase has been definitively approved it will now be up to the affected municipalities to decide on the increase they will charge to the residents in their towns and villages.

On average, this will mean de facto increases of between 15 and 20 per cent in the cost of water consumed during these past months in Almáchar, Benamargosa, Benamocarra, El Borge, Comares, Cútar, Iznate, Macharaviaya, Moclinejo, Rincón de la Victoria, Vélez-Málaga, Totalán, Algarrobo and Torrox.

In addition to this price for the water from the water transfer from Malaga city, Axargua also has to pay for the water transferred from the River Chíllar in Nerja, which it has to pay to the Junta de Andalucía, as the competent administration. This transfer has been increased, at a rate of 120 litres per second.

The Axarquía will get resources from La Viñuela, from which between 375 and 425 litres per second are extracted, and from the Chíllar, from which the aforementioned 120 litres more are supplied to the supply system, this summer.

In addition, three cubic hectometres of water from the reservoir will be used to irrigate the 6,300 hectares of mainly subtropical crops and greenhouses from 1 June until 30 September.

Farmers have been without water from the reservoir since 1 October 2022. The objective is to reach 30 September with 22 cubic hectometres stored in La Viñuela, so that only nine more than those in storage will be consumed.

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