There was a storm in Palma today, but areas in the Tramuntana missed out. | Alejandro Sepulveda


When the regional environment ministry earlier this month listed 27 municipalities in Majorca that are on drought alert, the list didn't include ones in the Tramuntana mountains about which there had been reports regarding shortages and restrictions, such as Banyalbufar. This municipality has been drawing on supplies by water tankers, an example of the situation with resources in the mountains.

The shortages are obviously attributable to the lack of rainfall since autumn last year and they are also being put down to high tourist occupancy.

Banyalbufar's reliance on water tankers has dropped since last month when there were five to eight deliveries being made per day. These are now down to an average of three. A local spring was closed off in May, while the use of a well hasn't as yet been authorised by the health ministry.

In Valldemossa, bans on watering gardens and filling swimming pools from the mains network were introduced in the summer along with fines for excessive consumption, be this by domestic or commercial users. Puigpunyent is using desalinated supply by tanker as it isn't linked directly to the Son Pacs storage tank. The town hall is paying a low cost for the water but is having to bear the cost of the transport of some 150 tons of water per day.

Esporles hasn't introduced restrictions but has been running an awareness campaign. Estellencs, by contrast, was the first to establish restrictions for watering and pools. Two to three tankers a day were supplying the municipality but they are now longer doing so. Meanwhile, the town hall is preparing ordinance to control consumption by introducing higher rates according to levels of use.

The showers on Soller beaches have been cut off. The town hall, able to draw from the Sa Costera spring, has reached agreements with private owners who are able to add to the municipality's needs. Fornalutx also uses Sa Costera, though its needs have been reduced by almost a half from a peak of 500 cubic metres per day.

Water tankers were supplying Deya in July and August, but then they normally do. The general supply of water to the municipality has not gone down as much as it has elsewhere, but the town hall has nevertheless banned the use of mains water for garden watering and pools.

On top of the shortages, there have also been faults with the supply system. Esporles had to cut off water overnight in order that repair work could be carried out. Bunyola had particularly serious faults in the network, which necessitated the use of water tanker deliveries.