Where we live, in the South of Mallorca, it doesn't rain very much (less than 400 litres per m2 and year)...
There are no rivers in Mallorca (just torrents, irregular watercourses or streams ). We obtain water from underground reservoirs.
For a long time, we have extracted water using waterwheels and water pumps... until it became too salty to be used in agriculture! But...what about running water?
Running water and sewage systems are quite new in the municipalities where we live. Some of them were built as late as the early 1990s. To know a bit more about these basic services we decided to go to the Campos Town Hall and ask some questions...
1. Who provides the running water in Campos and Ses Salines? Is it public or private entity? How long has it been like that? The Mancomunitat of Migjorn (mancomunitat: associacion of town halls or local governments that work together). This Mancomunitat is formed by the Campos and Ses SalinesTown Halls. It is public and it has been working since 1985. CAMPOS SES SALINES
2. Which percentage of the population gets water supplied by this association? Where does the water come from? Campos has approximately 10,000 inhabitants and Ses Salines 5,000 inhabitants. The Mancomunitat is ready to supply 15,000 inhabitants, but, in fact, it just supplies running water to 5,300 people. Water is taken out from three wells, all of them located in Campos (Son Rossello and Son Garau).
3. Where do the rest of people take water from? Can we open new wells? People that don't use Mancomunitat water take it out from private suppliers or from storing rain water. Nowadays, there are enough wells to supply the inhabitants and they aren't interested in opening new wells ( it's so difficult to obtain a license to do it).
4. What facilities does the Mancomunitat count with? What is the percentage of lost water through leaks?
5.What is the average consumption per capita? The average consumption is not really relevant in this area because there are people that use a lot, for example in some houses in Sa Rapita (by the sea), and people that use just a little.
6 .What is the price of water nowadays? Is it higher or lower than the Spanish average price? Water is very expensive in the Balearic Islands: its price is higher than the Spanish average. This is due to the scarce rainfall and the overpopulation in summer. But water price depends on consumption: the more you use, the more you pay... 0 to 15 m³: 0,82 €/m³ 16 to 30 m³ : 1,23€/m³ above the total consumed 31 to 45 m³: 1,64€/ m³ above the total consumed 46 to 60 m³ : 2,05€/ m³ above the total consumed 61 to 75 m³ : 2,46€/ m³ above the total consumed 76 to 90 m³ : 3,28€/ m³ above the total consumed More than 90 m³ : 4,10€/ m³ above the total consumed
7.What is the quality of drinking water used for home consumption? Main problems. Studies are made each week to analyse water quality. Unfortunately, it has a bad taste, because it's salty and, in some places, it has a big amount of chlorine. In fact, people don't drink tap water (in some places you can't even use it to cook!)
8.What quality does irrigation water have ? Main problems The water of the Mancomunitat association is only for human and animal consumption: It can't be used to irrigate.
9. What problems do these two major towns have on water issues? What actions have been planned to fix and improve them? Water wells in this area are at sea level. Due to that and especially to the overexploitation of the resources (too many wells opened at the moment) water is heavily salinized. In order to solve this problem, the first measure should be fixing the losses in pipelines: reducing water leaks by repairing pipes, we could reduce water extraction and, as a consequence, salinization.
10. Has the water company launched a campaign to promote water saving? If so, in which areas (school, citizens in general, farmers, businessmen,...)? Are they planning to do it in the future? Yes. Last year, the Mancomunitat distributed leaflets with some advices to save water at home (sink and faucets, toilet, shower,...). These leaflets were distributed at schools, shops, etc...,and they were exposed on March 22 th (World Water Day) at the flea market. They're planning to continue promoting water saving. Actually, they know that water is a very necessary natural resource and, therefore, we must protect and preserve it.
11. Who is responsible for sewage management? Is it public or private entity? The municipality of Campos is responsible for the sewage.
12. When did the sewage network start operating in this area? What percentage of population takes advantage of this public service? What do the others do with their sewage waste water? Network began operating only about 10 years ago. It did it in different stages. The network will soon cover all urban areas except Ses Covetes (a tourist resort by the sea).
13.Where is sewage water treated in this area? It's purified at three sewage plants.
14. Are there specific regulations regarding water pollution that may affect groundwater quality? What are they? Are these rules established by the European Union, by Spain, by the autonomous region or by municipality? Are they really applied and implemented? Yes, there are. You can not overuse fertilizers, as they can pollute ground water. There are also European, Spanish and Balearic regulation on nitrates. These standards are beginning to be accomplished.
15. Are there specific regulations on water pollution aimed at any other economic sector? Are there standards set by the European Union, Spain, the Autonomous Community or the municipality? To what extent are they fulfilled? Yes, mostly for the primary sector. These regulations are established by the European Union and by the Spanish Government.
16. What percentage of the treated water is reused? For what purposes? Only 30% of treated water is reused in agriculture. They are currently building infrastructures so 100% of the treated water can be reused. It consists of making a pond where the water is stored and then using it for farming