These are the water restrictions in southern Spain

by Lorraine Williamson
water restrictions

PROVINCIA DE MALAGA – The situation in several municipalities of Málaga is becoming increasingly dire. The water reservoirs are emptying and while the coasts are flooded with tourists, local authorities are taking measures to conserve the available drinking water. 

Restrictions came into effect in several cities a month ago, including a ban on hosing down streets, filling swimming pools, and watering gardens and parks with drinking water. Some municipalities have even introduced day and night water closures due to the acute water shortage. 

The regional government of Andalucia has decided that all municipalities in the Axarquía region must reduce their water consumption by 20%. A saving of 10% is needed in the regions of Guadalhorce-Limonero and Costa del Sol Occidental. So far, about 30 municipalities in the province have introduced some form of restriction. 

Region of Axarquia 

In the Axarquía region, towns such as Almáchar, Benamargosa, El Borge, Iznate, Moclinejo, Periana and Vélez-Málaga are already experiencing water cuts. Sedella, a village of 475, has also imposed water supply restrictions between 8.00 pm and 9.00 am. 

Also read: Here in Andalucia, no water comes out of the tap at night

Many of these towns get their water from the La Viñuela Reservoir, currently at 8.77% of its capacity. In some areas such as Vélez-Málaga, water closures take place almost every night between 11.00 pm and 7.00 am. 

Cogesa Expats

Measures also include a ban on hosing down streets, filling swimming pools, watering gardens, and using drinking water for washing cars. Several cities such as Vélez-Málaga, Rincón de la Victoria and Alcaucín enforce these measures. 

Costa del Sol 

In the Guadalhorce region, cities such as Alhaurín de la Torre, Cártama and Álora have introduced similar restrictions. On the Costa del Sol Occidental, Torremolinos has decided to close 50% of beach showers. Furthermore, Marbella has reduced water use for street cleaning and garden irrigation by 20%. Also, empty swimming pools can no longer be filled with drinking water. The municipality of Mijas aims for a saving of 10% by banning the use of drinking water for golf courses, a ban on washing cars outside authorised drinking water locations. Beach showers are also closed. The municipality is also cutting back on water by spraying the parks less often and cleaning the streets. 


Further afield, cities such as Ronda and Casabermeja have also introduced strict measures due to the water shortage. In Casabermeja, residents have no access to water between 2.00 pm and 8.00 am daily. In Fuente de Piedra, filling swimming pools with drinking water has been banned since April. Furthermore, irrigation of orchards is also prohibited. 

Water resources in the province 

The seven reservoirs in the province hold only 167 hectometres of water, which is only 27% of their total capacity. La Viñuela, the reservoir that supplies the Axarquía region with water, has only 8.77% of its capacity left, which is a historic low. 

Also read: Half a million swimming pools in Spain threatened by drought 

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