Tourist establishments to pay more for water in Tenerife than residents and farmers

  • Tenerife Cabildo
  • 11-05-2024
  • Tenerife
  • Photo Credit: iStock / CW
Tourist establishments to pay more for water in Tenerife than residents and farmers

Amidst the declaration of a water emergency due to drought in Tenerife, the Insular Water Council, tasked with managing the crisis, has proposed 75 measures to mitigate its effects. Among these measures is a directive for hotels and tourist accommodations, including holiday homes, to pay higher rates for water compared to residents and farmers.

For the first time in history, the Cabildo has taken control of the water supply, prioritising human consumption and the agricultural sector over other uses. Cabildo President, Rosa Dávila, said, "It cannot be in this situation, that golf courses pay the same price for water as farmers and livestock breeders."

This exceptional period will last for six months and can be extended for another six. Measure number 13 states explicitly, "Propose to the municipalities of Tenerife and Balten (the company that manages the island's reservoirs) tariff differentiation for tourist use in the network, including holiday homes."

Dávila said that these “bold decisions in a time of emergency" are significant, as she has only been president for 10 months but we have been experiencing drought for two years.

"We are doing this to prevent water supply problems over the next four years. This emergency declaration includes various measures: substantial economic investment, improvements in infrastructure, and a roadmap prioritising services for the population and the primary sector," she explained.

Regarding the collaboration sought from the private sector, particularly tourism, she adds, "All the companies we have contacted have committed to making water surpluses available to residents and the agricultural sector, and to increase production using their own resources."

Meanwhile, the Minister of Natural Environment, Blanca Pérez, estimates that tourism accounts for 10% of water consumption on the island. She suggests, "We must make an effort to ensure that our main economic industry has the water it needs, but pays the appropriate price."

Tourist establishments to pay more for water in Tenerife than residents and farmers

Raising Awareness

In the medium term, the primary goal is "to raise awareness among the population to reduce current water consumption by 25% from 200 litres per person per day on average to 150," according to Blanca Pérez.

The Insular Water Council suggests that residents on the island must avoid waste because the availability of water is not infinite, especially now. For the long term, work remains in municipal networks to address the significant issue of leaks, which can reach up to 60% in some municipalities.

Additionally, the Cabildo announces resources for industrial water generation. For example, the expansion of the desalination plant in Granadilla de Abona, where production will increase by more than 2,000 cubic metres daily to supply water to various high-altitude areas in the south. This measure is part of the Hydrological Plan to have more industrial and regenerated water in the island's treatment plants. This year, the plants in Granadilla (Abona) and Fonsalía (West Zone) will also be operational.

Tourist establishments to pay more for water in Tenerife than residents and farmers