The Marbella plant. / JOSELE

Costa del Sol water company looks to increase treatment capacity at desalination plant

Acosol, which supplies the western Costa, prefers upping the size of the existing Marbella facility to creating a completely new plant

JOAQUINA DUEÑAS MARBELLA.

Although recent rains have brought some temporary respite to the water shortages in the area, the authorities on the Costa del Sol are mindful that they need to prepare for the future.

Acosol - the public water company jointly owned by the town halls on the western Costa - wants to push ahead expanding the capacity at the existing desalination plant in Marbella to convert more seawater into drinking water, rather than build a completely new facility elsewhere in the short term.

"Currently, we can process between 10 and 12 hectometres [a year] and with this expansion we would reach 30," Carlos Cañavate, head of Acosol said.

"The whole Costa is full. ...the 57-58 hectometres that can be stored in La Concepción [reservoir] do not guarantee a year's worth for the Costa del Sol," he added, saying that to start a separate desalination plant in Mijas, as had originally been suggested, would take too long.

The regional government has put aside 50m euros for the expansion of the Marbella plant.