Town halls will need to have reserve wells in order to be able to deal with cases of drought. This is one of the measures that the regional environment and agriculture ministry is to include in its drought plan. Among other key points will be that golf courses will be obliged to use recycled water if a situation of pre-drought alert arises.
The plan is to be submitted next Tuesday to the Balearic Water Council and is expected to be approved. The minister, Vicenç Vidal, says that its objectives will be to guarantee the supply of quality water and to avoid negative impacts on the environment and economic activity.
Up until now, measures that the government has adopted have only been recommendations. They are to now become mandatory and will affect local authorities as well as the public.
There will also be a requirement for town halls to have a water management plan. At present, only one does, and that is Santanyi. Municipalities are to be given up to four years to ensure that reserve wells are connected to the supply system.
Three golf courses which at present have concessions to use underground water will need to adapt their facilities so that they can water with recycled water. The agriculture sector, which uses 28.5% of water resources, will also need to develop means of recycled supply for irrigation. Furthermore, it will have to come up with a plan for limiting consumption.
In cases of drought alert, such as those which exist in many Majorcan municipalities at present, the government will limit water consumption to irrigator communities (for agricultural purposes) and apply restrictions on urban use, such as turning off supply at night and restricting the watering of gardens and the cleaning of streets. In the case of emergency, all watering of gardens will be banned.
Desalination plants are to be used throughout the year, with their production being decreased or increased depending on the condition of aquifers and on demand.
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