Mayor highlights drought decree after Axarquía residents hit with excessive water bills
Drought crisis

Mayor highlights drought decree after Axarquía residents hit with excessive water bills

Some Spanish and foreign residents of La Viñuela in Malaga province have been hit with bills exceeding 70,000 euros

Friday, 27 October 2023, 17:42


Mayor of La Viñuela José Juan Jiménez has responded to complaints from Spanish and foreign residents in the Axarquía village over excessively high water bills.

Local resident Paul Rouse started a Facebook page earlier this month and other residents contacted SUR arguing that the high water bills were likely to be the result of new meters being installed around two years ago, which were unable to distinguish between water and air during cuts to the water supply.

Councillor for foreign citizens, Amber Crookshank, told SUR in English earlier this week that all the water meters were being sent off for testing to ensure [they are] calibrated correctly”, but said “there doesn’t seem to be any reason other than that’s the amount of water that’s been used”. She added, “I don’t understand it and it’s something I’m trying to get answers for” and that there is “lots of speculation is going on but nothing is certain”.

Responding to questions from SUR, Jiménez said that the problem had affected "around 15 or 20 detached houses with gardens and swimming pools". He went on to explain that last year a drinking water bylaw was modified in response to a decree from Andalucía's regional government to tackle the drought crisis in the Axarquía.

Town halls in the area were asked to save 20 per cent on their water consumption and the restrictions included a reduction in the consumption of water per resident. Jiménez said that the modification to the bylaw "penalised excessive consumption of over 350 cubic metres".

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