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La Viñuela reservoir in the Axarquía now holds around 30 cubic hectometres. Ñito Salas
Junta's drought committee avoids making ruling on controversial filling private swimming pools issue
Drought crisis

Junta's drought committee avoids making ruling on controversial filling private swimming pools issue

After yesterday's meeting, the regional government said local town halls in Malaga province and on the Costa del Sol will be responsible for adhering to the water consumption limit set - which they increased

Chus Heredia

Malaga

Wednesday, 10 April 2024, 10:54

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The Junta de Andalucía's drought committee for Malaga province, which includes the Costa del Sol, is holding back on making an official announcement about whether residential communities will be allowed fill their swimming pools this summer.

Following the declarations of the minister of agriculture Carmen Crespo last week, the drought committee - despite previously making an exception for public swimming pools in hotels, sport and health centres and campsites - said it is not the body's decision to make an official ruling on filling or refilling pools.

During a meeting on Tuesday 9 April, the contributions of the latest rains were analysed, with water restrictions relaxed until October, as reported yesterday by SUR. The limit of consumption per inhabitant is increased by 25% and goes from 160 litres per inhabitant per day to 200. It will be up to each respective municipality to ensure these restrictions are being followed.

And that seems to be the philosophy: the committee sets limits on how to reach water savings, with consumption a matter for each municipality. The same applies to the use of beach showers, foot baths and public fountains. Secretary general for water Ramiro Angulo chaired the meeting in Malaga and said: "Although the rains have helped to improve the situation, we cannot think the drought is over, so we must continue to maintain saving measures that help to ensure the most efficient use of resources".

Irrigation

With regard to irrigation, the drought committee agreed to apply an increase of up to 6 hm³ to the irrigable area of the Guadalhorce region of Malaga province. In the Axarquia area there will be an increase in recycled water farmers can use to irrigate their crops due to the increase in supply contributions. On the other hand, the Guaro Plan has been suspended until further notice. In the Axarquia region, water transfers from Malaga city will be suspended from this Thursday 11 April.

Prudence

Concluding the meeting, Angulo asked those present to remain prudent and responsible and stressed the importance of continuing with investments and awareness campaigns. It was concluded that the current measures will again be reviewed in June.

Reservoirs continue to rise due to runoffs

Meanwhile, the reservoir levels in Malaga province continue to rise. On Tuesday afternoon they were close to 164 cubic hectometres, an increase of 67 in just one month thanks to the contributions of storm Nelson late last month.

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La Concepción, which supplies much of the western strip of the Costa del Sol, leads the provincial reserves, with 39 hm3. Behind, Guadalteba (36.74 hm3); Viñuela (29.91); Guadalhorce (24.08), and Conde de Guadalhorce (22.77). Overall the reservoirs are holding around 27% of their total capacity.

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