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The manager of Aqualia, Javier Portero, and the councillor for water Jesús María Claros last Thursday SUR
Axarquía water company publishes times of cuts to supply

Axarquía water company publishes times of cuts to supply

The manager of Aqualia, Javier Portero, has called for 'more efficient use' and warned that cuts are 'inevitable at this time'

Eugenio Cabezas

Tuesday, 8 August 2023, 14:06

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Vélez-Málaga town hall and public water company Aqualia have started to publish information about cuts to supply in Vélez-Málaga every day via social media. The measure has been adopted following criticism and complaints about the intermittent nature of the cuts across the municipality, which stretches from Chilches in the west to Mezquitilla in the east and up to Triana to the north, since they started on 30 June.

Councillor Jesús María Claros and manager of Aqualia, Javier Portero, called on Thursday 3 August for "moderate water consumption" as one of the keys to trying to prevent the restrictions becoming more frequent. Both Claros and Portero explained the reasons why the restrictions affect different areas in different ways.

Claros said that after the first drought decree launched by the Junta de Andalucía in June 2021, "measures should have been taken" and that now, with hardly any rainfall in the last year, "the problem has worsened".

“The town hall sent out a message on 28 June explaining that we would be getting twenty per cent less water from La Viñuela," explained Claros, who stressed that the budget for repairing faults has been increased and that Aqualia has employed four more people. Claros also referred to an awareness campaign which has been launched on social media to save water in homes.

The councillor reported that since Wednesday 2 August announcements have been posted on the town hall's social media explaining which areas are going to have their water temporarily cut off, from approximately 11.30pm to 7am on a daily basis. "The cuts depend on consumption and reserves. In some areas the water will not be cut off and in others it will," Claros explained.

Portero explained: "The basic problem in Vélez-Málaga is that it has a fairly complex hydraulic system with many kilometres of pipes and many installations."

One of the problems is that the water supply system is often not well understood, according to Portero. "People understand other supplies quite clearly, such as electricity, but I think water is a bit of an unknown. Many people, when they are told that there may be restrictions between 11.30pm and 7am think that at 11.30pm they will have no water and that at 7am they will have it again. But this is not really the case because water is a fluid that travels through pipes, it is quite heavy and the speed is quite slow, as it circulates at 1.5 metres per second. This makes it more complex to reach all places," he stated.

He went on to say, "Depending a lot on where the person's home is and where the tank is in relation to the house, that person may not be aware that the supply has been cut off. If the house is lower than the tank, they won't notice it's been cut off because there will still be water in the pipes. However, a house that is next to the water tank or higher up will notice it as soon as the water is cut off.”

Portero explained, “That means that when you turn on the supply in the morning there may be no problems for a house that is below the tank as it will immediately have water, but for the houses further up it takes longer for the pipes to fills up. This is a problem that people are having because they don't understand why the water comes back faster in some places and takes longer to arrive in others.”

“It is very important for people to bear in mind that this is a problem that we are going to have if it continues not to rain. Why? Because you have fewer and fewer resources and the population's consumption is tending to increase. Therefore, the only solution is to reduce consumption and try to increase the resource,” said Portero.

The Aqualia manager stressed that "every effort is being made to inconvenience the public as little as possible,” but warned that cuts "are inevitable at this time". Portero concluded: "We want the population to make more efficient use of the resource.”

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