Delete
Private swimming pool use still in doubt as Junta de Andalucía's unclear rules push the decision onto town halls for now
Drought crisis

Private swimming pool use still in doubt as Junta de Andalucía's unclear rules push the decision onto town halls for now

At the moment, use of water resources fit for human consumption is prohibited by the regional government for the following: street cleaning, filling private swimming pools, watering gardens, cleaning public and private parks, golf courses, car washing outside authorised premises, decorative fountains without a closed water circuit, public showers and drinking fountains

C. Heredia / M. Albarral

Malaga

Monday, 22 April 2024, 07:57

Compartir

Junta de Andalucía regional government rules on water use in the drought are still seen as unclear for private pool owners wanting to fill up for the coming summer months. This lack of clarity means local town halls will be forced to make the decision themselves based on how well they can manage water use in their areas to get to the Junta's limit of 200 litres per person per day. Marbella town hall said this week that it would be looking to make the decision jointly with other municipalities on the western Costa del Sol to avoid private pools being filled in some resorts but not others.

At the moment, use of water resources fit for human consumption is prohibited by the Junta de Andalucía for the following: street cleaning, filling private swimming pools, watering gardens, cleaning public and private parks, golf courses, car washing outside authorised premises, decorative fountains without a closed water circuit, public showers and drinking fountains.

Water not fit for human consumption may be used for the basic watering of gardens, public parks and golf courses.

These rules are in Decree 178/2021 issued by the Junta de Andalucía in 2021. It prohibits the filling of swimming pools with drinking water. And in it comes the first unclear wording: swimming pools cannot be filled with drinking water, but the use of non-potable water (otherwise known as non-drinking water) is not expressly allowed either.

New decrees to add to this have been made throughout the drought crisis with the most recent at the start of this year: Decree-Law 2/2024 of 29 January. This framework mentions the word "pools" up to 13 times to allow for the refilling of pools with recirculation systems only to replenish evaporation losses. It also makes allowances for new construction or pools being repaired to prevent damage and those in educational facilities. The limitations do not apply to those filled with seawater as long as they do not discharge into public networks.

This year's decree expressly prohibits swimming pools in single-family dwellings in exceptional drought situations. Andalucía, unlike Catalonia, has made the framework more flexible and now allows those in hotels, campsites, public parks and sports and health centres and those with salt water.

Municipal guidelines

SUR has analysed the rules of the largest towns on the Costa. The following municipalities prohibit filling or topping up pools with drinking water: Malaga, Vélez, Rincón, Alhaurín el Grande and Cártama. A general prohibition is included in the 11 municipalities of the western Costa del Sol and Torrox. A third group, with restrictions, is made up of Ronda, Alhaurín de la Torre and Coín.

Marbella's councillor for Infrastructure, Diego López, said this week that it would be up to the municipalities on the western Costa to jointly decide the policy for private pools for this summer under the direction of Acosol, the local public water company. He added, "Potential measures will be studied at the start of May when new data will be looked at, and joint steps will be taken."

The mayor of Estepona was more positive on Thursday: "We see no justification for some pools being open and not others. In Estepona, we're clear that pools will be authorised," he said at an event organised by SUR.

Reporta un error en esta noticia

* Campos obligatorios