Tankers have been bringing water in to Periana for around five weeks / e. cabezas

Entire village now affected by water problems and restrictions in Periana

The local council has restricted the supply to a dozen hamlets and rural areas due to low levels of the Guaro well

Eugenio Cabezas
EUGENIO CABEZAS

Water restrictions in the village of Periana in the Axarquía have now reached the entire village and its outlying areas. For the last five weeks around two thirds of the 3,100 registered residents have been unable to drink the tap water as the small quantity of water that remains in the Guaro well is so cloudy it is undrinkable.

Now, as of last weekend, restrictions have reached the other third of the population. Around a thousand people who live in hamlets and outlying areas are experiencing intermittent water cuts to ensure levels in the municipal water tanks.

The town hall has asked the residents of Baños de Vilo, La Negra, Cuesta de Carabina, Huerta de Antonio Díaz, Camino de la Huerta de Antonio Díaz, Aldea de Moya, La Muela, Cortijo Blanco and Cañizares to refill their tanks and cisterns whenever they can, as they will not be able to have water for periods of around 36 hours at a time. "That's the time we need to be able to fill the tanks, but we have to cut it off again as soon as they start to go down," mayor of Periana, Rafael Torrrubia, explained to SUR.

According to Torrubia, the source of the Guaro well, which supplies two thirds of the local population, has been greatly reduced, "as never before in living memory". "The well that was used for irrigation is 120 metres deep and the water comes out cloudy, with clay. It cannot be consumed, we do analyses every two days and the other well is 82 metres deep and hardly any water comes out.” According to Torrubia, the only solution to this "unprecedented" situation is for it to rain "as soon as possible".

"Either the rains come now or I don't know what we're going to do," confesses the mayor, who admits that the increase in intensive agriculture in Zafarraya, in the neighbouring province of Granada, "is seriously affecting the well". "It is the same water, the polje de Zafarraya, but the number of wells now is not the same as it was during the previous drought in 2008," said Torrubia.

Water tanks

The town hall is having to supply water trucks to farms in hamlets and rural areas and is also using this service to fill the municipal tanks with drinking water. "In 2008 we also had to cut off water to the villages and the countryside, but the current drought is much worse, because even the fountain of the four pipes that we have in the village has dried up, nobody remembers ever having seen it like this", the mayor points out.

On Tuesday 25 October the town hall informed residents via social media networks that due to the low level of water in the Guaro well "it is impossible to provide a regular supply to the population" and that "It is not possible to predict how long we will be suffering this situation.” The statement called on residents to “use water responsibly” and recommended them “to collect and save water at home, whenever possible.”

The town hall also reminded residents that a tank supplying drinking water is available every day of the week, from 8am to 7pm. "We would like to thank all the local residents for their cooperation", the statement added.