A Ray Of Hope: Axarquia Residents Optimistic Amid Water Crisis

regional authorities at meeting

Authorities are working together to fight the water shortage crisis. Photo credit: Diputacion de Malaga

THE Axarquia region faces deeply concerning drought conditions as water levels drop in reservoirs, according to the latest figures released on Wednesday, July 26.

However, proactive collaboration between stakeholders provides hope for navigating the water crisis.

While challenges remain, a spirit of collective action is giving the community hope.

La Vinuela reservoir now contains 14.4 cubic hectometres of water, which is just 8.8 per cent of its capacity. Ongoing high temperatures are causing evaporation to take place faster than usual.

Despite this, conservation successes give residents hope and demonstrate the power of working together.

Transfers from Malaga city and Nerja’s Chillar river currently provide around 300 and 80 litres of water per second. These water inputs reduce dependence on the La Vinuela reservoir across 14 different towns.

With this additional supply, La Vinuela could provide water for six more months at current rates of use.

The Andalucian government convened a drought committee in June, calling for a 20 per cent decrease in water use in Axarquia.

Vice President Gregorio Campos of the Axaragua public company thanked mayors during the meeting on Wednesday for responsibly cutting back on water. The last week saw a 19 per cent drop, meeting the target.

“We appreciate residents’ effort to cut consumption during extreme drought,” Campos said. “Even small changes at home can have a significant impact.”

Seventeen other Axarquía towns not supplied by the reservoir rely solely on their own aquifers. Periana has put  overnight water cuts into place due to falling water levels. Colmenar is now using water trucks for homes in rural locations.

However, most locations have successfully avoided restrictions through their own conservation measures.

Agriculture faces some of the most serious challenges due to irrigation from reservoirs having remained below 140 metres since October 2021. To combat this challenge, recycled wastewater is used to irrigate half of the affected farmland.

Axarquia’s water challenges continue to return each summer, but cooperative work provides hope. “We must keep collaborating on solutions and continue reducing usage,” Campos added.

While anxious about tight supplies, many residents have also shared their own trust in regional cooperation and water management companies.

With careful planning and water sacrifices, Axarquia is adapting to navigate the drought crisis.

Continued strict measures along with autumn rains could bring some welcome relief to the region. But for now, Axarquia looks to the future with cautious optimism.

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