Cecilia Garland - Aug 18, 2023
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Millions of Spaniards and holidaymakers are currently affected by water consumption restrictions. Mallorca municipality is taking particularly drastic measures.

Climate change affects popular travel destinations. According to researchers, the Mediterranean region is particularly affected: According to data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), temperatures there are rising faster than the average for the Earth's regions. In Mallorca, the thermometer recently climbed to 40 degrees. A small community on the popular holiday island has reduced water consumption drastically.

The municipality of Mallorca has cut off the water supply to holiday home settlements in Deià. The destination is known in Spain as an artists' village, as great names such as Pablo Picasso, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Peter Ustinov once settled here. However, the idyllic village in the northwest of the island on the Mediterranean Sea is currently struggling with serious problems: Last year and the municipality restricted the water supply by half – since 2019, consumption has increased by 40 percent. The small Spanish town has had to take another step, which is why many households have been without water since 4 August.

"We don't have water," Mayor Lluís Apesteguía stated. Water consumption is too high: while around 170,000 liters come from the "Font des Molí" spring daily, consumption is 600,000 liters daily. The municipality, located on a hill on the edge of the Tramuntana mountains, bought the missing water and trucked it into the mountainous area. The small town needed 18 trucks a day to function.

However, the money for these deliveries has almost run out. "The budget is 53,759 euros, and the trucks cost 13,500 euros per week," said the mayor. The center consumes around 150,000 liters daily, covering the water source. On the other hand, large-scale consumers and more distant settlements have not received water since the beginning of August. The districts of Son Bauçà, s'Empeltada, ses Coves de can Puigserver, la Cala and Llucalcari, where there are also holiday homes, are affected. Tourism, however, is a crucial source of income for the Spanish holiday island.

Residents and visitors of Deià are now required to personally manage a portion of their water supply, as changes have been implemented to the existing system.

The mayor announced the measure in July to give affected people enough time to buy water. Apesteguía expressed his regret about the circumstances and, at the same time, announced that he would take stricter action against water waste in the future. Until further notice, it is prohibited in the center of the municipality to fill up the pool, blow up the lawn or wash one's car. If residents consume more than 120 liters daily, their electricity will be cut off. The small artists' village in Mallorca is not an isolated case; around nine million people in Spain are affected by water restrictions.

According to climate experts, problems such as those in Deià are likely to intensify in the future. According to a study, the Mediterranean, for example, is warming up faster and faster and becoming saltier and saltier. Scientists from the Spanish marine research institute ICM-CSIC wrote in the Journal of Marine Science and Engineering that the water temperature rises about two degrees per century in the western Mediterranean and even three degrees per century in some places.

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