All the tourists are causing problems with water supplies, says GOB. | Click

Because of the drought situation in the Balearics, environmental pressure group GOB is insisting that the regional government adopts measures, including the introduction of an emergency plan, to restrict water consumption by businesses in the tourism and leisure sectors. The group singles out golf courses, tourism properties (e.g. hotels), swimming pools and water parks as requiring restrictions on the use of water. If necessary, GOB argues, there should be "coercive measures" in order to guarantee general water supplies and to enable recovery of water reserves.

The environmentalists are calling for these measures in light of the environment ministry's announcement that 27 municipalities in Majorca are now on drought alert. The forecast is that this autumn will not be particularly rainy, and so the drought could continue into next year when vast numbers of tourists, as this year, are expected. GOB stresses that the Balearics are currently in an exceptional situation because of the lack of water reserves and also because of record levels of water consumption during the tourism season.

GOB believes that the government cannot limit itself to issuing advice to town halls, to asking for voluntary water-saving measures and to talking about progressive rates for water to be charged to domestic users without addressing one of the sectors with the most intensive use of water, namely tourism.

While it identifies water parks and golf courses as examples, it also notes that tourism use of rural land has increased because of rented accommodation which, in the majority of cases, has swimming pools.