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La Viñuela reservoir in the Axarquía is now at 7.7% capacity. E. Cabezas
Night-time water cuts extended to 10 hours for Malaga province municipality which includes more than 83,000 inhabitants and 11 towns and villages
Drought crisis

Night-time water cuts extended to 10 hours for Malaga province municipality which includes more than 83,000 inhabitants and 11 towns and villages

The nightly restrictions will be extended from 10.30pm to 8.30am as La Viñuela reservoir registers just 7.7 per cent capacity; an all-time historic low

Eugenio Cabezas

Axarquía

Tuesday, 31 October 2023, 16:33

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After the Junta de Andalucía regional government published in the BOJA (official bulletin) on Monday 30 October that the flow from La Viñuela reservoir in the Axarquía to the El Trapiche treatment and purification plant will be reduced from Wednesday 1 November, to just 50 litres per second, Vélez-Málaga has announced an extension to its night-time water cuts.

The extra hour, from 10.30pm to 8.30am (it was 11pm to 8am) affects practically the entire municipality which includes more than 83,000 registered inhabitants and eleven towns and villages and numerous rural areas. The cuts affect Vélez-Málaga itself as well as Torre del Mar, Caleta de Vélez and the western coastal villages of Almayate, Valle-Niza, Benajarafe and Chilches.

Only the much smaller inland villages of Triana, El Trapiche, Cajiz and Lagos have been spared the night-time restrictions for the time being. The cuts are announced every night on the town hall's social networks.

Responsible consumption

Javier Portero, manager of Aqualia, the public water company that supplies Vélez-Málaga has appealed for “calm" and has reminded the population of the importance of “responsible consumption adjusted to the difficult water situation”.

Speaking to SUR on Tuesday, Portero also alluded to the "complexity" of the supply system in Vélez-Málaga with 140 installations, including tanks and other infrastructure that also have reduced storage capacity. In addition, Vélez-Málaga does not currently have other alternative resources, unlike other neighbouring towns such as Rincón de la Victoria and Torrox.

Vélez-Málaga town hall and Aqualia are still looking at new resources including wells in the Almayate area and Molino de las Monjas. "We are making a titanic effort to alleviate this complicated situation, improving the performance and efficiency of the networks, to reduce losses and leaks," explained Portero.

No further restrictions in other villages

He added that Aqualia is “doing its best to ensure that the impact is as small as possible on the population”, but pointed out that “it is no use if people are not aware of the situation and if water is collected during the day and then thrown away".

Other towns and villages supplied by La Viñuela where restriction have also been introduced such as Benamargosa and Comares are confident that they will not have to increase their night-time restrictions. "People are very aware and we are managing to save the resources we have," said the mayor of Benamargosa, Salvador Arcas.

Mayor of Comares, Eva Aguilar, told SUR that for the time being no restrictions are planned "as demand has been greatly reduced with the arrival of autumn and the temporary population has decreased".

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