3 Mar, 2024 @ 10:00
1 min read

More water restrictions to come after February rains barely refilled the Costa del Sol’s Conception reservoir

la concepcion reservoir mijas fuengirola
Malaga reservoirs at 53% capacity in the run-up to summer

THE recent heavy rains have supplied just 13% of what was required to stave off swingeing water restrictions on the Costa del Sol.

The Concepción reservoir which supplies most of the region is at a mere 25% of its required capacity and only filled up by a modest two million litres of water.

But it falls significantly short of the 15 million needed to alleviate the water scarcity, according to Matilde Mancha, the CEO of local water authority Acosol.

“We are in a very difficult situation. The reservoir is at a critical low level, and we need to take action now to prevent a water shortage,” she said.

“Continuous rain over weeks is necessary for us to breathe a sigh of relief and lift these restrictions,” she added, before calling for a significant shift in water usage habits.

The first restriction to be taken by Acosol was a limit on the usage of water for irrigation a few months ago.

However, an alarmingly dry rainy season has forced the authority to take further measures.

Matilde Mancha, the CEO of local water authority Acosol

This includes the reduction of water pressure during nighttime hours, a policy that has been in place for ten days. 

This measure reduces the pressure from midnight until 6am in order to curb excessive water consumption and minimise losses.

“The first thing is to raise public awareness, so that everyone is aware of the situation and takes care not to use water excessively. 

“We want to cut water consumption to 160 litres per person per day . If you reduce pressure, you reduce losses. 

“We are asking everyone to do their bit to save water. Every little helps. If we all work together, we can get through this difficult period.”

The plea comes as Andalucia suffers its worst drought in over 40 years.

Malaga’s reservoir levels decreased this week despite the rainy weather, with water reserves now operating at a worryingly low 15.91% – historical figures show that the province’s reservoirs are usually over 50% full at this time of year.

Overall, Andalucia’s reservoirs are just 25.43% full, the lowest of any autonomous community.

Weather forecasts indicate that there will be no rainfall on the Costa del Sol until at least mid-March.

The Junta recently announced a €217m package of drought measures, including money to fix leaky pipes, a key source of water loss.

But critics of the regional government believe this does not go far enough, with economists estimating that the drought will cost Andalucia over €4 billion this year alone.

Officials are worried that the region could run out of water by October if weather patterns continue.

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