Andalusia extends water restrictions to Costa del Sol and Guadalhorce

by Lorraine Williamson
water restrictions

MALAGA – The restrictions on the use of drinking water in Andalucia are being extended to the western part of the Costa del Sol and the Guadalhorce-Limonero system near Málaga. 

That has been decided by the drought committee of the river basin. Under the leadership of the General Secretary of Water of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, talks were held in Málaga with relevant government agencies, users, trade unions, business organisations and environmental activists. 

Evaluation of the hydrological situation 

Malaga Hoy writes that the most recent data on the hydrological situation were given after the rains in May and June. The behaviour of the water in the different systems of the Western Costa del Sol, Guadalhorce-Limonero, Campo de Gibraltar in the province of Cádiz, La Viñuela in the region of La Axarquía in the province of Málaga, Benínar and Cuevas del Almanzora in the province of Almeria. 

Also read: Polluted water drama in Córdoba: living with 5 litres of water per person per day 

The commission was able to determine that the rainfall in May was concentrated in the eastern part of the catchment area in the provinces of Granqada and Almería. The rain in the western area (provinces of Cádiz and Málaga) fell mainly in areas downstream from the reservoirs. As a result, nothing has changed significantly compared to April. Consequently, it remains very dry in that basin. 

After evaluation, the Commission unanimously decided to maintain the measures previously taken in the different systems to mitigate the effects of the lack of rainfall and to reduce water consumption in urban areas. This is about maximising the use of regenerated water and limiting the use of drinking water for street cleaning and garden maintenance. 

Extension of restrictions to Costa del Sol and Guadalhorce 

These restrictions already applied to the systems of La Viñuela (Axarquía), Campo de Gibraltar, Benínar and Cuevas del Almanzora. And now Guadalhorce-Limonero and the Western Costa del Sol (both in Málaga) are also being restricted by 10% water use. 

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This decision guarantees the water supply for the population and the normality of daily activities in the tourism sector during this period of persistent drought. However, the importance of responsible use of water resources by governments, production sectors and social stakeholders was emphasised. 

Awareness campaign 

To raise awareness, a new campaign aimed at the public will be launched during the summer months. It provides useful information and recommendations for responsible water use and shows graphic tips on how people can contribute to saving water from home. 

Infrastructure projects 

During the Commission, General Secretary Ramiro Angulo also presented the infrastructure projects that the Andalucian government is implementing through various drought decrees. These include the connection of different river basins, improvement of water supply systems, water purification, reuse of treated water and desalination. 

Angulo emphasised that the expansion works of the desalination plant in Marbella are now about to start. This will double the capacity from 6 to 12 hm3. The Andalucian government’s commitment to regenerated water was also highlighted. As a result, 23 new hm3 water will be made available to farmers in the Axarquía after the summer.” 

Also read: Avocado and mango cultivation in southern Spain in danger due to drought 


On average, the reservoirs in Andalucia are at 26.86% of their capacity. However, Almería is the province that is in the worst shape with 15.18%. This is followed by:

  • Córdoba (17.99%)
  • Cádiz (25.43%)
  • Jaén (26.87%)
  • Málaga (31.17%)
  • Granada (32.74%
  • Seville (34.53%)
  • Huelva (38.79%)
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