The decision of the Axarquía town councils of Vélez-Málaga, Rincón de la Victoria and Algarrobo to turn off the beach showers to save water in the face of a drought has not been supported by the area´s other two coastal councils, Torrox and Nerja. In the former, the mayor Óscar Medina (PP), told SUR that they did not do so because they did not want to "harm tourism", while considering the measure to be "populist" and not very effective.
The mayor's words, which he voiced on the town’s local radio station, have provoked a backlash from the socialist PSOE spokesperson Mari Nieves Ramírez, who has asked Medina to "urgently" take measures to reduce the town’s water consumption in view of the situation of the La Viñuela reservoir, which is at just 12 per cent of its capacity, and following the recommendations of the the Axarquía’s Mancomunidad de Municipios association.
The socialist councillor accused the government team of continuing to “pour drinking water into the streets and there is no limitation on showers, while calling the restrictions in Rincón de la Victoria and Vélez-Málaga populist.”
Ramírez went on to say, "We have been complaining for some time that in Torrox no decisions are being taken to save water when it can be a problem, not only for crops but for tourism and for human consumption," she said, recalling that "the Association of Municipalities of the Eastern Costa del Sol-Axarquía has launched a call to save at least 20 per cent of consumption, but what measures is Óscar Medina taking in Torrox?”
Through the town hall’s social networks, Medina said that his government team "has been a pioneer in optimising water resources in the face of these years of severe drought. We were the first council to limit watering of gardens to a minimum, to clean the streets and containers and we contemplated sanctions for the misuse of water from the 90 showers and footbaths," he argued.
The councillor called for "a responsible use of water in the more than 20,000 homes that are currently 100 per cent occupied in our town" and went on to say, "In any case, and thanks to the investment of the new Junta de Andalucía, we hope that in a few weeks our two water treatment plants will be able to supply water for irrigation.”