Council workers at La Bola roundabout in Benalmádena. L. Cádiz
Drought imposes new landscaping measures on the Costa
Drought crisis

Drought imposes new landscaping measures on the Costa

Plaza de España in Fuengirola, the accesses to Mijas Pueblo, and the roundabouts in Benalmádena are in the process of being changed with plants that demand hardly any water, pebbles and pine bark to reduce water consumption

Lorena Cádiz


Friday, 23 February 2024, 17:34


Landscaping with reduced or zero water is gaining ground on the western Costa del Sol. Dubbed ‘xeriscaping’, this technique is becoming one of the tools used by local councils to keep streets and public spaces looking charming without green areas that require a high volume of water and begin to dessicate as the season of high temperatures approaches and the ban on irrigation continues.

Plants that demand hardly any water, pebbles and pine bark are replacing grass and other greenery along the Costa. In Benalmádena, for example, busy roundabouts such as the Tívoli, La Bola, and the Flathotel, ones have been transformed in this way in recent weeks.


In Fuengirola, the town hall has just announced that it is introducing potting materials to more than a hundred plant containers which reduce water needs by as much as 75 per cent. All the planters from Avenida Santa Amalia to Avenida Jesús Cautivo Avenue are being transformed, including those in Plaza de España.

"Right now we are working on the stretch that goes from Calle Molino de Viento to the Plaza de la Constitución and the Portillo area, with the aim of having all these planters renovated by Easter," explained the councillor for Urban Ecology, José Sánchez.

Materials such as stone, gravel or pine bark, which do not need water, are being used in the planters. The Fuengirola councillor said that, "this type of material means that when the planter is watered, it stays damp for longer and guarantees a better state of the soil for the conservation of the plants".

A resin is also being applied to fix the materials so they cannot be picked up by pets or small children. "This resin is one hundred per cent permeable and makes maximum use of rainwater, which was also one of the objectives in view of the drought situation we are in,” Sánchez said.


In Mijas Pubelo, they are currently changing the roundabouts that give access to the village. "We are suffering a great drought, which forces us to control the use of water as much as possible. We have implemented this landscaping technique as a measure of commitment to the environment, without forgetting how important it is to keep our municipality in the best condition. In crisis situations, we have to reinvent ourselves," said the Mayor, Ana Mata.

The xeriscaping work in the town began last November and, so far, work has been carried out on seven roundabouts and traffic islands, such as those at the entrances to the Vistazul and Bellavista residential developments and at El Olmo primary school. For this purpose, "plants completely adapted to the climate and ornamental and sustainable materials, such as pine bark and volcanic stones" have been selected, the mayor said.

At the entrance to Mijas Pueblo, the roundabout will get a makeover with reused glass in different colours, reflecting the town’s flag, and plants suitable for the, increasingly arid, environment.

"Glass as a decorative element is used in the Canary Islands and the result is fantastic, so we have seen fit to import it to our municipality. In addition, we will continue to innovate, managing in an orderly and rigorous manner, because we all have to make an effort against drought," said the councillor for Parks and Gardens, Daniel Gómez, who said that in the coming months, the work will progress to all the town’s roundabouts.

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