TOURISM has been found to account for more than half of water consumption in some areas of the Balearic Islands.
This is the finding by a new government study, which concluded that overall that visitors account for almost one in every four litres of water used on the islands.
A comparison of water consumption during the Covid pandemic, when there was virtually zero tourism on the islands, allowed researchers to see the effects of tourism on water use.
And they found there was a 24% decrease during this period, highlighting the heavy reliance of the archipelago on tourism.
But the most touristic municipalities experienced a whopping 58% reduction in water consumption during the pandemic.
However, the finding must be put in context that the travel and tourism sector contributed approximately 35% towards the islands’ GDP in 2019 and is likely to be the same in 2022.
Meanwhile, those with medium and low touristic activity saw decreases of 40% and 14%, respectively.
A key finding was that the tourism sector accounts for approximately 33 million cubic metres of water consumed – equivalent to three times the capacity of Mallorca’s two largest reservoirs.
The good news is that Mallorca’s two reservoirs, the Cuber and Es Gorg Blau, are almost full after torrential rain during the last 10 days.
Capacity has gone up by 187%, from 3,500 to 10,043 cubic hectometres – or 10,043 billion litres.
But tourists coming to the island will use that quantity three times over.
There is also a desalination plant in Alcudia in the north of Mallorca capable of supplying 14 million litres per day.
This quantity has the potential to be expanded to 21 million litres, so all in all Mallorca can probably afford its tourist industry.
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