The village of Benamargosa in the Axarquía / e. cabezas

Drought forces cancellation of Benamargosa water festival

The town hall will organise alternative activities for children during its fair and is calling on residents to save water because of the low level of La Viñuela reservoir

Eugenio Cabezas

Benamargosa town hall has announced that the traditional 'water festival' will not form part of its annual feria (fair), which will take place from 6 to 7 August this year, due to the drought in the Axarquía. Instead alternative activities will be organised for children.

The decision was taken by the mayor Salvador Arcas after a meeting with local residents. The message was then shared on the town hall’s social media pages. "We are facing a situation of extreme drought and we want to propose a series of measures to help save this resource. Every drop counts and that is something that we take seriously, since our economy is based on irrigated agriculture," Arcas's message read.

The town hall went on to say that it is taking "all possible decisions to save as much as possible and we are also showing the alarming situation that so many of us who work in agriculture in this valley are experiencing to the Junta.”

In his social media post, the mayor also listed a series of tips for saving water. "Take a shower instead of a bath. A shower saves an average of 400 litres per day per household. Don't leave the tap running when brushing your teeth or shaving. This common practice wastes up to 30 litres per person per day,” the post explained.

Water saving tips

The town hall is also asking residents not to keep the tap running when washing dishes. "It is better to fill the basin and wash the dishes in it. Reuse water. Try to reuse water that is not dirty for other purposes, for example, water from your children's bath can be used to mop the floor. Rationalise watering. You can do this by using rainwater or by setting up drip irrigation systems", they point out.

The advice continues: "Taps and urinals should be checked from time to time because small leaks can appear with use, which can cause significant water and money losses over time". They also recommend replacing traditional household appliances with those that have the A+, A++ or A+++ label, in particular, washing machines and dishwashers. "This type of appliance saves 50 per cent in water consumption, thanks to their economical systems and half-load programmes", it points out.

“Even if the rain returns, it is always good to use water responsibly. Hopefully this situation will soon be resolved," His message concludes.