15th April 2024
Sitges News

Drought brings severe restrictions for swimming pools in Sitges this summer

Sitges offically has 1,585 swimming pools, according to the municipality’s Directorate General of the Cadastre of 2023.

There are therefore nearly 5 swimming pools for every 100 inhabitants. It is a figure similar to that of other municipalities on the coast, such as Cubelles or Cambrils, but not of neighbouring towns, such as Olivella or Canyelles, with more than 20 swimming pools for every 100 inhabitants. Sant Pere de Ribes has 1,372 pools, which is 4.3 for every 100 people.

Last summer, Sitges and Ribes were in the exceptional phase of the Catalan drought crisis. It meant that the restrictions on swimming pools were limited to private and single-family use. This year, however, with both towns entering the emergency phase of drought restrictions, it means that the measures are extended to municipal, community and hotel swimming pools, with very restrictive use. Virtually no pool can be filled or refilled – ‘regardless of the source of the water: not with mains water, well water, transported by tanker, or rainwater’, the Catalan Water Agency (ACA) has stipulated.

In Sitges, the sector is already looking for solutions. The hotel establishments, for example, are studying how they can refill their swimming pools with salt water, and they are already requesting the relevant authorisations from the administrations.

They stress that the pools have not been emptied from one summer to the next, but are being maintained, out of environmental awareness and for economic reasons, in addition to underlining all the measures they are carrying out to save water across their sector.

The Sitges Hospitality Guild has said that, although the focus is often placed on tourism as far as water usage is concerned, ‘a large establishment has many users, and it may be that its relative consumption ends being lower than that of a private house’.

Meanwhile, owners of community swimming pools are waiting to see what measures will be in place in the summer. ‘If it doesn’t rain, we will have problems, and I think that swimming pools will end up being banned,’ said Jordi Planas, from Farreras consultancy, an estate administrator.

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