The Emaya municipal services agency in Palma is to spend 4.25 million euros on improving the quality of tap water and promoting its consumption. This will involve work at the treatment plant for drinking water from natural sources and for pre-treatment osmosis.
The work will mean a doubling in the number of litres from the sources to 1,000 litres per second. Ultrafiltration will eliminate cloudiness and reduce the use of chemical products. At present, it is not possible to exploit much rainwater from the sources because of the high level of water turbidity.
Palma's mayor José Hila says that this work is part of a town hall strategy for a sustainable city. "Drinking tap water is a very important measure, as it saves resources and produces less plastic waste." The contribution of water from the natural sources will rise to 25% of annual water use and cut the need for desalinated water and for drawing water from wells.
The town hall calculates that each citizen in the Balearics consumes an average of 175 litres of water from plastic bottles each year. In Palma, some 2,000 tonnes of plastic waste are generated per annum.
Councillor Ramon Perpinyà, the president of Emaya, says that Palma's water is drinkable and has all the health guarantees needed for human consumption. With ultrafiltration and the new system, Palma will be able to adapt to the "climate crisis", which is producing ever heavier rainfalls over a short period of time. Water that is at present being lost will no longer be.