The Costa del Sol’s hotels and golf courses are preparing for a summer of drought

Golf courses irrigated with reclaimed water Photo: Shutterstock / Karuna Tansuk

A ban on filling swimming pools, street washing, car washing and even night-time water cuts are some of the consequences of the lack of water in the province. The municipalities are adapting to the requirements of the Junta de Andalucía by taking the appropriate measures to guarantee the supply to their population as much as possible.

Hotels and golf courses in these areas are also being affected, but they are adapting to the water-saving measures. The hotel sector maintains that most of the establishments have water tanks that can cope with the cuts, and those that do not have them already are installing them ready for the summer. In the golf sector, they say that they irrigate their courses with reclaimed water, so as long as there is still a water supply, they will be able to keep the greens watered.

Water for 24 to 48 hours

Hotels on the Western Costa del Sol are going to see their water flow reduced from now on after the latest restrictions approved by Acosol and the Mancomunidad of the region. Javier Hernández, vice-president of the Association of Hotel Businessmen of the Costa del Sol (Aehcos), maintains that, “the local councils can lower the pressure, make temporary cuts or introduce other measures but hotels will have guaranteed water for their clients”. This is because, as he explains, the buildings have a cistern that can supply water for 24 to 48 hours if there is a cut in the supply.

Hernández also said that hotels have been working for “decades” to reduce the water consumption of tourists by incorporating double flush devices in toilets, flow reduction devices to save between 40 per cent and 70 per cent in showers and recommending that clients do not leave their towels for laundering every day.

Never with drinking water

Meanwhile it is often not understood that 75 per cent of the golf courses in Andalucia irrigate with reclaimed water and the 25 per cent that do not use reclaimed water irrigate with non-potable water from wells that are salty or with desalinated water, but never with drinking water. Pablo Mansilla, president of the Royal Andalucian Golf Federation, said that the main water problem facing his sector is the quality of the water because in some areas it is salty.

However, work is being carried out to improve many irrigation systems so that they are more efficient and consume less water and there are courses that, “are changing the type of grass and looking for species that need less water and withstand salinity better”, added Mansilla.

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Written by

Kevin Fraser Park

Kevin was born in Scotland and worked in marketing, running his own businesses in UK, Italy and, for the last 8 years, here in Spain. He moved to the Costa del Sol in 2016 working initially in real estate. He has a passion for literature and particularly the English language which is how he got into writing.