CONCERNS over the lack of rain on the island have resulted in precautionary measures being taken by the town hall of Palma to ensure a sufficient water supply for residents
The Tramuntana reservoirs’ capacity is down to 28 per cent and the town hall does not want to deplete them. Measures include adopting a drought plan and buying €5.7 million worth of desalinated water. Other municipalities are also joining the initiative, which includes raising awareness of the need to save water.
The desalinated water supply comes from Abaqua, the regional government’s water agency, and will be used as the need arises depending on future rainfall and taking into account the increase of demand during the tourist season. The town hall pays Abaqua a €3.5 million retainer for use of the desalinated water supply. The annual budget for purchasing water is €3 million, and will have to be exceeded. The amount of water drawn will be assessed on a month-to-month basis.
The plan includes using recycled water for cleaning and for crop irrigation. Neus Truyol, councillor for the environment, emphasised the responsibility of the public and private sectors along with the general populace to combat the problem. She also said that for now water rates will not increase.
Government and municipalities will meet to discuss the plan and how each will address the problem. To determine the action needed to be taken by each municipality, phases (pre-alarm, alarm, and emergency) will be established. An audit of water management will determine pre-alarm status in Palma.