The reservoirs at Gorg Blau yesterday.

The water crisis is rapidly becoming a thorn in society's side and affecting the everyday life of residents in the Balearics. The problem no longer rests behind closed doors along the corridors of local politics, but is causing rifts in local neighbourhoods. Yesterday a British resident who has lived on the island for the past 30 years and is renovating her attic flat in Terreno told the Bulletin of how the water crisis is causing relations to strain between residents in her block of three flats. While she is recycling dish and cooking water to water her plants, the ground floor residents are out every evening hosing down their garden and washing their car. Polite attempts have been made to draw their attention to their “hose happy” attitude but they have fallen on deaf ears. Apart from concern for the lack of water, with the level in the island's reservoirs having dropped to below 20 per cent, the three flats in the block all run off one meter - thus the water rates are being split three ways. The British resident has asked EMAYA to have her own meter installed, “but they just put up obstacles. “I've written to Maria Crespo (chairman of the water board), drawing her attention to the blatant misuse of water, but I don't hold out too much hope of a reply.” The latest water bill for the three flats showed an increase in consumption of nearly 20 cubic metres. The previous bill was for 37 cubic metres, the latest was for 57 and the sharp rise, just when people are being urged to curb their water consumption, is because of the “hose happy” residents watering their garden and cleaning their car every night. According to the British resident, the car has to be cleaned more in the summer because the dryness creates more dirt. In fact, the sharp rise in consumption in the block has caught EMAYA's attention. Along with the bill came a special notice drawing the residents' attention to the rise and recommended that they have the block inspected in case of a water leak. But all the piping in the block is new, the 20 cubic metre surge in water consumption is caused by blatant abuse of water. But, the concerned and water conscious British resident says that while EMAYA are aware of the abnormal rise in consumption, the water board do not appear to want to do anything to solve the problem.


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