PROVINCIA DE MÁLAGA – Hoteliers in the province of Málaga are demanding measures from governments to prevent water shortage in the approaching high season. With the current water level, it will be difficult to supply the coast in a period when the population at least doubles.
The Association of Hotel Entrepreneurs of the Costa del Sol (Aehcos) warns the governments to urgently optimise existing resources and improve the performance of purification, desalination, and supply facilities to ensure water supply shortly.
“We are risking our future. If we do not act urgently and decisively, it could endanger the entire tourism sector of the Costa del Sol and the province,” warns Aehcos President José Luque. He points out both the central government and the Junta de Andalucía have planned works whose completion is now more urgent than ever.
Water shortage in reservoirs province
Luque emphasises the precarious situation of the reservoirs in the province. They are now at 32.3% of their capacity after a winter with hardly any rain. These include worrying cases such as the Viñuela reservoir which is only filled to 14.9% of its capacity. The capacity of the Concepción reservoir seems to be better at 39.5%. However, it supplies a large part of the population.
Malaga’s population doubles in high season and even triples on the west coast. This coast is currently home to some 560,000 people. In the summer that will expand to at least 1.5 million.
Vice-President Javier Hernández points to the aging infrastructure on the Costa del Sol. For decades there are constant malfunctions. Even though the population of the west coast has increased fivefold over this century.
The hotel association sees the renovation of the large water tube as a high priority. This supplies the entire coastal strip between Manilva and Torremolinos. In the 100-kilometer-long pipe occur at least 50 failures per year.
“We have a reservoir like La Concepción, with little capacity. Hence, the administrators have to open the locks as soon as there is a lot of rain. Consequently, that valuable water just flows into the sea unused. In addition, we have a desalination plant that no longer meets the requirements and over-exploited aquifers. As a result, the province is forced to receive water from the Campo de Gibraltar to guarantee supplies in the summer,” Aehcos describes the untenable situation.