The move is being led by the Costa del Sol, but other destinations popular with the British are expected to follow unless drought conditions are reversed. The Association of Municipalities of the Eastern Costa del Sol has asked all 31 municipalities to save water and at least 20% of consumption.
Rincón de la Victoria, Vélez-Málaga and Algarrobo have all decided to close showers on the beaches from Monday.
The Mayor of Vélez-Málaga, Antonio Moreno Ferrer, said: “It is not easy to make this decision in the middle of the summer and with the beaches full of users and we are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, but we are getting real faced with a critical situation and any measure that can help mitigate the effects of the drought should be implemented, starting by setting an example for local governments.”
Vélez-Málaga has 22 kilometers of coastline and 100 showers and is calling for European support to move forward with a desalination project that would meet both domestic demand and agriculture.
Councilor for beaches, Jesús Pérez Atencia, confirmed to the Spanish media: “From August 1, the Vélez-Málaga coastline will cut off the water from more than 100 showers.
“It is a gesture of responsibility in the context of the critical situation experienced by the municipality of Vélez-Málaga and the Axarquia region in terms of water, for which we request the cooperation of all residents and users of our coastline and also apologize for this decision that will enable significant water savings.”
Mayor of Rincón de la Victoria, Francisco Salado, said: “We know it is an unpopular measure, but extremely necessary in light of the severe drought.”
The resort will put stickers along the nine kilometers of coastline where almost 60 showers fall.
“The water savings will be significant as not everyone handles water responsibly and even uses the showers for personal hygiene or cleaning beach equipment,” said beach councilor Sergio Díaz.
The rest of the Costa del Sol is being urged to take the same measures, including a water ban on filling private pools.