La Viñuela could soon be declared a dead reservoir. / Ñito salas

The western Costa del Sol will officially be in a 'drought emergency' situation next week

The Junta de Andalucía's decision, this Friday morning, will affect what potable water can and can't be used for

IGNACIO LILLO Malaga

The western Costa del Sol will officially be in an ‘extreme drought’ situation next week, once the Junta de Andalucía has approved the decision to expand the decree which has applied to La Axarquía in recent months.

This will mean that potable water cannot be used to wash streets, fill private swimming pools, water gardens, parks or golf courses, car washing (except authorised businesses), ornamental fountains that do not have a closed circuit of water, drinking fountains or beach showers.

The Junta de Andalucía is also asking people to reduce their domestic use of water where possible.

Measures

The announcement was made this Friday morning, 11 March, by Carmen Crespo, the regional government’s Minister for Agriculture and Sustainable Development. The move will bring measures with it to generate new water resources in one of the busiest tourist areas of Andalucía, and it comes when the amount of water in the reservoirs has dropped to below 30 per cent of capacity.

Desalination plants

Crespo called on the government to use EU Next Generation funds to build new desalination plants to increase the supply of fresh water, and to subsidise desalinated water.

No further details are known as yet about today’s meeting of the Drought Management Committee for the three water systems in Malaga province (La Concepción, Guadalhorce-Limonero and La Viñuela), except this extension of the drought emergency to the whole of the Costa del Sol.

La Axarquia

The committee was due to discuss reducing the amount of water used for irrigation in La Axarquía, which was already decreased by 33 per cent last October. If it has decided to do that, it will probably mean that each of the more than 6,000 hectares of crops (mainly mangos and avocados) will be allocated 1,500 cubic metres of water instead of the present 2,000. This is considerably lower than the 6,000 which would be the case under normal conditions.