State of the Conde del Guadalhorce reservoir, one of those that supplies Malaga. Salvador Salas
Malaga relies on the old Guadalhorce wells for half of its water supply this summer
Drought crisis

Malaga relies on the old Guadalhorce wells for half of its water supply this summer

The 18 retired wells that saved the city during the great drought of 1995 are being reactivated and expected to provide 25 cubic hectometres a year

Ignacio Lillo


Tuesday, 13 February 2024, 14:30

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Malaga city will rely on at least half of its water supply this summer coming from old wells in the lower Guadalhorce Valley, which threw the city a lifeline in the drought of 1995.

The 18 disused wells are expected to provide up to 25 cubic hectometres a year following the completion of reactivation works. They will need to be restored, cleaned and gauged, to extract the amount of water that is viable, without compromising the long-term viability of the underground water source.

A pipe must also be installed to take the flow to a water deposit tank located to the north of Malaga Airport; and another to connect to the network that reaches the desalination plant at El Atabal. Emasa has drawn up the projects and the Junta de Andalucía's regional ministry of water will pay for them, with an estimated budget of 15.5 million euros.

There is also a series of works to be carried out at El Atabal, consisting of the improvement of the ozone treatment facilities at this plant, costing some 600,000 euros. Following these works the treatment plant will be prepared to deal with the arrival of water with a higher organic content, such as the water coming from the wells.

The aim of the works is to reduce dependence on the reservoirs of the Guadalhorce-Limonero system, which Malaga city and the main municipalities of the Axarquía currently consume, by up to 20 per cent.

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