Crisis in the campo

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A perfect storm of depleted storage, changing climate conditions and peak summer demand has deprived residents across Colmenar of a proper water supply, with EWN able to reveal that the campo has been without water for weeks, while the village supply is at dangerously low levels. 

The council has issued a communiqué requesting the ‘maximum collaboration’ of citizens in reducing the unnecessary use of water for domestic purposes, as it struggles to arrange a long-term solution to a long-standing, and progressively worsening, situation. 

A British resident of the village told EWN that Colmenar had effectively run out of water, with some households deprived for three weeks, and no signs of a concrete strategy from a town hall ridden with debt. 

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With a population of roughly 3,500, many of whom live in isolated rural areas, there are concerns that a serious crisis is on the horizon, especially given the economic importance of the village’s renowned cheese factory, the only one in Axarquia, which necessitates an ample water supply for local goat farmers. 

EWN spoke with the mayor of Colmenar, Jose Martin Garcia, who confirmed that there is a severe problem, but said fresh water should arrive on either Thursday or Friday of this week. 

When pressed he was unable to guarantee water throughout the summer season, stating only that to do so would require significant funding, which he trusts will arrive from the Malaga Provincial Council or the Junta de Andalucia regional government. 

The current scarcity has been building for some time, with the council also requesting residents last summer to reduce their water use, and wastage appears to be an ongoing concern, not just in Colmenar, but across southern Spain. 

Antiquated storage systems with limited capacity only serve to compound the problem, which appears set to grow steadily worse over time as climate patterns become more extreme.  

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