Wednesday, 11 October 2023
The 14 towns and villages in the Axarquía on Malaga province’s eastern side that contract public company Axaragua for their water supply are to meet next week to discuss a joint approach to saving water as the drought crisis worsens in the area.
Six of the villages: Vélez-Málaga, Benamargosa, Iznate, El Borge, Almáchar and Moclinejo, have already implemented nighttime cuts to their supply. However, the other eight have not adopted any measures as yet.
"We have to go a step further and make everyone aware of the very complicated situation we are in. Let's hope that from next week the weather changes once and for all and the rains start to come," said Jorge Martín, president of Axaragua.
Martín warned that Axaragua is finding it increasingly difficult to make the remaining water in the area’s La Viñuela reservoir drinkable which at less than eight per cent of its capacity, with just 12.9 hectometres stored, is at a historic low.
It is estimated that only a further four hectometres of drinking water could be extracted from the reservoir. In an attempt to use as much water as possible, surface pumps are being installed which will allow the remaining water to be captured without sediment. The Junta de Andalucía is confident that the work will be completed by the end of November.
The current allocation of water to the towns and villages is proportional to its population, a move which was brought in by the Junta de Andalucía and set at 180 litres per person per day. However, recent data showed that the average daily consumption was around 230 litres across the 14 towns and villages. "All the municipalities are given the same water according to their population and then each one distributes it as they wish," Martín pointed out.
Water is being transferred from Malaga city to the Axarquía at a rate of up to 320 litres per second, as well as from the Chíllar river in Nerja at a rate of around 80 litres per second. These resources accounted for 56.25% of the water demand in the 14 towns and villages, while 43.75% was covered by La Viñuela reservoir in the year October 2022 to September 2023.
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