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Water: a luxury not even the mega rich can acquire
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Water: a luxury not even the mega rich can acquire

The rich and famous don't deserve water any more than the rest of us, writes Jennie Rhodes, after the high-end property sector of Marbella, Estepona and Benahavís said it was worried about the effect the drought will have on sales and rentals if it is not resolved

Jennie Rhodes

Malaga

Friday, 1 March 2024, 16:50

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Those working in the luxury or high-end property sector of Marbella, Estepona and Benahavís are worried about the effect the drought will have on sales and rentals if it is not resolved. I quote, "If a client pays 6,000 euros for a night in a villa, they want to have access to water whenever they need it." And: "This is a very demanding visitor profile, especially for a basic service such as water."

Well I'm sorry luxury property sector, but everyone living on the Costa del Sol demands a "basic service such as water". Most of us don't pay 6,000 euros a night, but we do pay water bills and other taxes and expect to have water coming out of the tap. (Reality check: at some point during the day at least.)

The problem is, there is almost no water and the situation isn't about to improve, not for you, me, or anyone else. The rich and famous don't deserve water any more than the rest of us. After all, money can't buy rain... but it could buy solutions.

How about, instead of spending six thousand euros a night in luxury accommodation, these people invest some of their wealth in the desalination plants that we're told are going to save us all? That way, for their 6,000 euros a night, they could fill their pools and have water whenever they turn on their taps.

Luxury hotels are also "very worried that the situation will escalate" and "at some point will be banned from filling [their] swimming pools for the summer". Well, guess what? Me too! In fact, we were unable to fill our (communal) swimming pool last year and we won't be able to this year either. I have no sympathy.

I do understand that the biggest industry on the Costa del Sol is tourism and get the very real concern that tourists may start to look at alternative destinations if the drought continues. However, this would be a disaster everywhere and not just in Marbella, Estepona and Benahavís.

We all need a cold shower or dip in the pool to cool off in the hot summer months, but those paying 6,000 euros a night for a luxury villa are no more entitled to do so than the rest of us. Solutions must be found quickly and everyone has to do their bit to save water.

We all need to accept that the swimming pool is likely to remain empty (again) this year, regardless of how vast and luxurious our home (bought or rented) is. Water is a luxury that nobody, not even the mega rich, can acquire at the moment.

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