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Amount of water lost through leaks and theft would be enough to supply the 64 smallest villages in Malaga province for a year

The president of the Diputación, Francisco Salado, has urged councils to take action to remedy the situation and said there is no point in building new wells and deposits or transferring water from one place to another if so much is lost at the same time

ANTONIO M. ROMERO MALAGA.

The amount of water lost every year from towns and villages in Malaga, whether through leaks or fraudulent use, amounts to 7 cubic hectometres (7 billion litres) and is enough to supply the population of the 64 smallest municipalities in the province for a year. The figures have just been revealed after the Malaga provincial authority (Diputación) carried out inspections to see where water pipes need repair.

A total of 800 kilometres of pipes which supply 77 small municipalities have been checked and the figures have been completed for 51 of them so far. They make “worrying” reading, Francisco Salado, the president of the Diputación, said at a press conference this Wednesday morning.

During the nights, the equipment showed very significant water use. More than 50% of stored supplies disappeared, in fact. “That means that pipes are losing water, and not necessarily through leaks because people could also be taking water fraudulently,” he explained. However, leaks had been detected in most of the municipalities, he added.

From the figures so far, (those for 26 villages are still pending), the losses at night are calculated to account for approximately 19,450 cubic metres a day, which is 583,500 cubic metres a month and 7 cubic hectometres a year.

Such inefficiencies cannot be allowed to continue

“The province cannot allow such inefficiencies in its municipalities. That water could supply 90,000 households, or to put it another way the 64 smallest villages in the province. There is no point in us building new wells and deposits and transferring water from one place to another if we are losing so much at the same time,” Salado warned.

He urged councils to invest in improving their water pipes as a priority, and suggested that they use some of the funds provided by the Diputación each year which they can use as they see fit. If they don’t, he said, the funds will be conditional on them being used to carry out these improvements in future.