UK tourists to soon learn more about ongoing ban in Marbella | World | News

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The mayor of Marbella, a resort city in Spain‘s Costa del Sol loved by British tourists, has provided an update on a much-criticised ban amid an ongoing drought affecting several parts of the country. 

Marbella, in the Malaga province part of the southern region of Andalusia, is home to some 141,000 residents and welcomes every year tens of thousands of tourists.

In March, the Andalusian government announced stringent measures to counter the exceptional drought, which included barring people in the Malaga province from filling private swimming pools as well as some public ones.

The regulation never hit swimming pools in hotels, a decision which some critics argued risked exacerbating a rift between locals and tourists.

Following heavy rains at the end of March, president of the Andalusian government Juanma Moreno announced he was loosening the ban, allowing the refilling of community pools across Malaga, Granada and Almeria, while adding municipal governments would be in charge of decisions on private pools. 

This ongoing ban is having an impact on many in Marbella, as there are an estimated 10,744 swimming pools in the municipalities.

On Friday, Marbella Mayor Angeles Muñoz said when owners of swimming pools and visitors of the area can expect a possible update on the ban.

The mayor said during a press conference she would consider authorising the refilling of private swimming pools after May 1 – the date on which the Andalusian government is set to meet to reassess drought levels.

The Malaga province is currently considered to be on the “grave” level of drought, the highest one. 

Should the local government deem the situation improved enough for the level to be moved to the lower “severe” one, Ms Muñoz said the municipality will “be in a position to take a measure” on the ban.

However, the mayor said she believes scaling down on the ban should be a decision taken jointly with other municipalities in Malaga rather than by Marbella alone.

José María García Urbano, the mayor of another Malaga municipality, Estepona, announced on Thursday his council would allow the refilling of private swimming pools this summer following the approval of the construction of a new desalination plant. 

The stringent anti-drought measures enforced earlier this year in the Malaga area included also a ban on washing cars and streets, watering gardens and using public showers or filling up fountains.

As a result of this legislation, more than 80 companies and around 300 individuals signed a public letter last month calling for an equitable distribution of water resources bearing in mind the needs of locals and small businesses.

Andrés Marín, the spokesperson of this angered group, warned several jobs are on the line as a result of these regulations, and local business owners fear their companies may “go to ruin”. 



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