The final decision on filling private swimming pools in Costa del Sol has been made

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private swimming pools

The heavy rain showers during Semana Santa, the week before Easter, have saved the swimming season of many Spaniards in Andalucia. After intensive consultation between the general water secretariat of the Junta de Andalucía and the drought committee, it was decided that private swimming pools may also be filled.

This means that both communal swimming pools at large apartment or residential complexes and those at individual homes may be filled and refilled. In mid-March, the Andalucian government decided, based on the severe drought at the time, that only hotels, buildings intended exclusively for tourist purposes, public swimming pools and therapeutic swimming pools could be filled and refilled.

Rain during Semana Santa

After the Semana Santa rain, the Junta increased the number of litres of tap water that each resident of the drought zones could use per day from 160 to 200. Each municipal council would then have to determine for itself on the basis of which local rules that limit would not be exceeded. Municipalities should therefore also make the final judgment about private swimming pools. Many of those local authorities disagreed. Associations of owners of urbanisations also made themselves heard. They believed the same rules should apply to the entire province. It could not be the case that one residential complex would have an open swimming pool in the summer months and the adjacent building in the neighbouring municipality would not.

Zero water savings

The decision was also sensitive among the population. Because if there is a water shortage, doesn’t that shortage apply to everyone and not just to the permanent residents of the coast, while visiting tourists can swim carefree all summer long? The only one who made a clear decision on this in April is the mayor of Estepona. Private swimming pools would also be allowed to be filled in his municipality. In his view, the water savings from not doing so are nil. He based that on numbers. Filling private swimming pools and watering green areas accounts for only 1% of total water consumption. The director did not see this as a sufficient basis for filling one swimming pool and not the other. The majority goes to agriculture, industry and urban use. Much more profit could be achieved by saving water in other areas.

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Maximum use per person per day remains 200 litres

Finally, the verdict has now been made: Everyone in the province of Malaga can refill their swimming pool this summer. On the condition that municipalities ensure that water consumption per person per day does not exceed 200 litres. For watering gardens, a maximum of 400 cubic metres of water per hectare per month applies. The spokesman for the Junta de Andalucía warns that the water problem in the region is still far from solved.

The Junta’s measure concerns more than 75,000 swimming pools. The most are in Marbella: 10,744, followed by Mijas (8,231), Málaga (6,033) and Alhaurín de la Torre (4,976).

Also read: Catalonia: who can still fill their swimming pool?

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