Wednesday, 8 November 2023
The first-ever meeting of the mayors of the eleven towns that make up the Mancomunidad de Municipios de la Costa del Sol Occidental have met this Wednesday with an urgent issue on the table: the ongoing drought crisis in Malaga province.
The meeting was chaired by the head of the supramunicipal body, Manuel Cardeña, and CEO of water supply company Acosol, Matilde Mancha, who gave detailed explanations of the water supply situation. As she told SUR a week ago, the supply could become "very complicated" by March if the rainfall situation does not improve.
The gathering was attended by the mayors of Benalmádena, Juan Antonio Lara; Casares, Juan Luis Villalón; Fuengirola, Ana Mula; Mijas, Ana Mata; Torremolinos; Margarita del Cid; Ojén, Juan Merino and Manilva, José Manuel Fernández along with the first deputy mayors of Estepona, Ana Velasco and Marbella, Félix Romero. "This is the first time that we have convened this Council of Mayors and we are doing so to deal with such an important and necessary issue as drinking water, on which we all depend", emphasised Manuel Cardeña.
La Concepción, the reservoir located between Marbella and Istán, barely holds 32 cubic hectometres of water. That is enough for about four or five months supply for the 11 municipalities on western strip of the Costa del Sol. The water reserve is at danger level, which has led the town heads to agree on a common resolution to save 20% of water. As a result, all superfluous uses are banned.
The Marbella desalination plant is producing as much as it can given its age, around 8 cubic hectometres, although it was designed to produce. A future project the technicians are planning will enable it to reach 30. Right now, desalinated water accounts for 21% of the total supply.
Following the meeting, the mayors agreed to issue a joint proclamation prohibiting the use of drinking water for the irrigation of golf courses, public and private gardens and parks, the filling and refilling of swimming pools, the washing of vehicles (except in authorised facilities), ornamental fountains and lakes, and public showers and drinking fountains.
"Our main objective is that together we manage to reduce the use of potable water by 20% and thus preserve the volume stored in La Concepción reservoir for as long as possible until the rains come and ensure the supply to the different municipalities in the region that Acosol supplies", explained Matilde Mancha. "Meanwhile, Acosol continues to work with the Junta de Andalucía to promote actions to improve and renovate the upstream supply, treatment, regulation and distribution infrastructures contemplated in the hydrological planning", she added.
Already, there are important works under way to help the situation, such as the one that will double the capacity of Verde water treatment plant.
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