On a day when rain finally falls in the province, Málaga and the Guadalhorce region have officially been placed under red alert for drought, joining the Axarquía and the Costa del Sol, which reached this severe status earlier.
This means that the entire province is now in this phase. The measure imposes strict water restrictions on a total of 101 municipalities, with a limit of 160 litres/inhabitant per day. Furthermore, significant restrictions on the use of reservoir water are in place.
Urgent measures against empty reservoirs
The drought committee will meet today in Málaga to make decisions crucial for water management until September. Considering the current rainfall and consumption forecasts, it is predicted that the reservoirs will be empty by the end of September. This situation must be avoided at all costs by implementing appropriate cutbacks.
Simulations and historical data
The decision to declare a red alert is based on simulations, historical data, and technical reports from each water basin manager. The measures do not directly lead to the closure of taps or a reduction in water pressure. Instead, they establish a consumption limit that necessitates the use of additional water sources and conservation measures.
According to reports, Málaga is in a situation similar to that of the hydrological year 1994-1995. Since the beginning of the “water year” in October, only 31% of the average rainfall has fallen. The province is experiencing historically low rainfall, causing the reservoirs to significantly decline.
Water management and conservation strategies
Málaga has attempted to reduce pressure on the reservoirs by using surface water from the Aljaima dam and additional reserves from the Bajo Guadalhorce. Additionally, Málaga has provided 2.9 hectometres of water to the Axarquía in solidarity and will continue to do so. Irrigation water is limited to a maximum of 15 hectometres cubic per year, and measures have already been taken to reduce water pressure in the city.
With the current red alert measures and the addition of water from the desalination plant in Marbella, the province is striving to manage water reserves as efficiently as possible. However, without significant rainfall, the reservoirs will be almost empty by the end of the hydrological year. There are no plans for water interruptions. But as part of a comprehensive package of water conservation strategies, pressure will be reduced throughout the city in April.