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File image of a community swimming pool at a residential development in Nerja. E. Cabezas
Junta's tourism boss denies that private and community swimming pool uncertainty is affecting summer holiday bookings in south of Spain
Drought crisis

Junta's tourism boss denies that private and community swimming pool uncertainty is affecting summer holiday bookings in south of Spain

Arturo Bernal has called for "common sense" for a more efficient and rational use of water "because the recent rains have not solved the drought situation"

Eugenio Cabezas

Monday, 15 April 2024, 16:24

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The Junta de Andalucía's regional Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport, Arturo Bernal, denied this Monday (15 April) while visiting Torre del Mar that the uncertainty that still hangs over the use of private and communal swimming pools in the Andalusian region is affecting the volume of holiday bookings for tourist accommodation in Andalucía for this coming summer season. In response to a question from Diario SUR, the head of the regional ministry said that «we are not noticing this type of effect».

"At Easter we started with a much more complicated situation and there was no negative effect. There were not fewer advance bookings, but what happened was that last-minute bookings fell and there were some cancellations, because from Holy Thursday onwards it rained intensely", Bernal assured, who called for "the responsibility of all users "regarding the efficient and responsible use of water. "We must appeal to common sense, to the responsibility of everyone, administrations and the public, to use water responsibly," he said.

"Despite the rainfall at Easter, it has not been enough for us to exceed even 30% of our reservoir water capacity in Andalucía, and this is 60% less than the resources we had a year ago," said the Minister of Tourism on a visit to the Eduardo Hernández indoor swimming pool in Torre del Mar, where he said he regretted that people "still think that because it has rained heavily for two or three days the issue has been overcome".

Bernal pointed out that the water consumption in Andalucía is estimated at between 30 and 35 cubic hectometres per week "in normal times, without much use"."This is equivalent to 8,500 Olympic-size swimming pools per week and, when the hot months arrive, that figure climbs to 55-60 cubic hectometres," said the minister, who insisted on "being aware that we have to reduce usage".

"Some town halls have cut off water supplies at night, and some people have said what nonsense. If the water is not cut at night a lot can be lost through the supply networks, the average is approximately 20% of the network's capacity," Bernal said.

The minister for Tourism said, "we are facing a great challenge, the rational use of water". "Despite the fact that it has rained, we still have the challenge," he added. Alluding to the statements of the Andalusian president, Juanma Moreno, Bernal reiterated that for the summer in addition to guaranteed "drinking water for human consumption, we will also have water for irrigators, but we must work to build new facilities for water supply and lower the indicator we have, because we consume, on average 200 litres a day, it is huge amount".

"We have to start being more coherent and responsible with this resource, which is very scarce and which is now the fundamental challenge facing this regional government, along with many others," he added.

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