VÉLEZ-MÁLAGA – The long-awaited rain showers that provided much-needed water to large parts of Spain did not sufficiently reach the far southern Spain. That is why various municipalities are considering the what restrictions and measures to be taken or extended.
For example, in the municipality of Vélez-Málaga in the very arid region of La Axarquía, nightly water cuts have been extended due to the persistent drought and the critical situation of the La Viñuela reservoir. Last night the water restrictions were extended by one hour: from 10.30 pm to 8.30 am. These restrictions apply to almost the entire municipality, including Vélez-Málaga itself, Torre del Mar, Caleta de Vélez, and the west coast, including Almayate, Valle-Niza, Benajarafe, and Chilches. These places have been under water restrictions since June 30.
Critical water level
The La Viñuela reservoir currently has only 7.7% of its capacity available, with barely 12.7 hectometres cubic metres of water. This is considerably less than the 15.9 hectometres of a year ago. From November 1, the water flow to the El Trapiche treatment plant will be limited to only 50 lieers per second.
Exceptions and a call for thrift
Smaller inland centres such as Triana, El Trapiche, Cajiz and Lagos are currently exempt from the night-time restrictions. The municipality announces the water cuts daily via social media. Javier Portero, manager at Aqualia, calls for calm and asks the population to use water responsibly, according to the Sur newspaper.
Portero highlights the complexity of the water supply system in Vélez-Málaga. This consists of 140 installations with limited storage capacity. He points to efforts to improve the return and efficiency of the network and reduce losses.
Although the available water in the network has been reduced by 15%, this does not mean that services will be proportionally reduced. They try to keep the impact on the population as small as possible. Depending on how reservoirs and consumption develop, the water restrictions may be adjusted and extended in the coming days.
Vélez-Málaga faces challenges compared to neighbouring municipalities that have larger storage facilities and their own water sources. In other municipalities dependent on La Viñuela’s system, such as Benamargosa and Comares, water cuts are also in effect. Benamargosa is confident that the current restrictions are sufficient thanks to the awareness of the population. Comares, which has its own resources, currently has no restrictions planned.