The Balearics is consuming water at a rate three times the size of the population, according to the Balearic government's head of water resources, Alfredo Baron, who yesterday unveiled the results of a study carried out on water consumption since 1996. The study is part of a European Union scheme which is being carried out in Spain and Greece and, according to Baron, the main reason for the sharp rise in water consumption is the increase in the number of residential buildings and an overall rise in temperatures over the past four years. However, Baron said it appears that the population is becoming used to and comfortable in using excess water, which is an issue the government and the European Union intends to address. The population has to be made aware of the threats posed to the natural resource if we continue abusing it and using too much, Baron said yesterday. This week Baron and a team of technicians will be visiting a number of wells in the Balearics which are not under threat from salt water infiltrations, in order to establish where water extraction can be increased. Baron also added that a series of other measures will also be introduced, but to what extremes depends on whether ot not it rains in the Balearics this Spring which would ease the situation. Rain or shine, the Balearic government will tackle the problem of excess use by residents.