22 Nov, 2023 @ 12:58
1 min read

Warning of severe water shortage on Spain’s Costa del Sol next summer – but what’s causing the drought?

OFFICIALS are already warning locals on the Costa del Sol of a water shortage next summer, but why is the area at such high risk? 

The Costa del Sol has attracted expats for years with its sun, sea and sand lifestyle. 

Most of the time, this is a blessing, but faced with extreme water shortages the lack of rain can become a curse. 

According to Acosol, the Costa del Sol’s water management entity, the area may be facing a ‘real risk of water shortage’ by summer 2024. 

The south of Spain in particular has suffered a lack of rainfall, with the longest drought in the region since 1961. 

Across Spain, September saw 12% less rainfall than expected, according to the Spanish Meteorological Agency (AEMET). 

As a result, the country is in its 36th consecutive month of low rainfall. 

At the same time, the region is experiencing unusually high temperatures this autumn, pushing reservoirs to their limits. 

On the Costa del Sol, the problem is exacerbated by poor infrastructure in the area’s 51 year old water treatment plant. 

The Rio Verde Water Treatment Plant supplies 80% of the Costa del Sol’s drinking water but according to Acosol, the antiquated facilities are ‘insufficient’ and ‘put water treatment at risk’. 

Combined with the lack of rain, the area could be suffering extreme droughts by next spring or before if it doesn’t rain.  

Speaking to Diario Sur, Acosol warned that water supplies will only last until that time if water restrictions are enforced. 

It comes after local council leaders in the western Costa del Sol announced plans to conserve water in urban areas alongside the Hydrographic Demarcation Drought Management Committee. 

As part of the plans, Marbella council announced measures to cut water consumption by 20% by banning the use of drinking water to wash cars and water gardens amongst other measures. 

It comes after Fulgencio Díaz, manager of Hidralia, the company which manages Andalucia’s water, warned that timed water restrictions could be in place in the next four to five weeks if restrictions are not enforced. 

He said: “The situation is critical.” 


Yzabelle Bostyn

After spending much of her childhood in Andalucia and adulthood between Barcelona and Latin America, Yzabelle has settled in the Costa del Sol to put her NCTJ & Journalism Masters to good use. She is particularly interested in travel, vegan food and has been leading the Olive Press Nolotil campaign. Have a story? email yzabelle@theolivepress.es

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