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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Tourism ‘drinks’ 1 out of every 2 liters of water on Formentera

Water consumption fell by 24.2% between April and June 2020 in the Balearic Islands with respect to the previous year.

A study by the UIB has calculated for the first time how much water tourism consumes in the Balearic Islands: 24.2% on average in the archipelago or in other words, one out of every four liters. Although on Formentera this figure rises to one in two, 51% of the total. This calculation, carried out by a group of researchers from the Universitat and published in the scientific journal, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, has been possible thanks to the confinement that between April and June 2020 closed the islands to the arrival of tourists.

“Despite all the negative implications that covid has had, during the confinement we found an ideal scenario to carry out the study because there is no data disaggregated by months of consumption on the islands,” said Dr. Cels Garcia, from the Department of Geography of the UIB, during the presentation of the study yesterday.

On the islands there is a clear contrast between the tourist municipalities, which reflect the largest decreases in overall water consumption during 2020, than those with a greater weight of resident population. Thus, the researchers highlighted the reduction in the consumption of water resources in the municipality of Muro, specifically 73.7%, or the 60.9% decrease in Alcúdia and the 39.8% reduction in Calvià, three coastal areas that stand out for their high tourist activity.

In addition, during the period analyzed, water consumption was reduced by 51.1 % on Formentera, 40.1 % in Sant Antoni; 27.1 % in Sant Lluis (Menorca); 16.5 % in the municipality of Ibiza; and 9 % in Maó, according to the study. On Palma, the reduction reached 16.6%.

Monthly data

“We obtained monthly data on water consumption in 2019 and 2020 in nine municipalities on the islands, which allowed us to establish a pattern in the decline in consumption that was more evident in the most touristic locations. Thanks to the data on overnight stays, we established a mathematical model and observed a very clear linear relationship between the decrease in overnight stays and water consumption. And we got an average value of 24.2% decrease in water consumption,” explained Enrique Moran, also a doctor in the Department of Geography at the UIB.

33 million cubic meters of water

“What can we compare this data with?” thought Garcia. “In the Balearic Islands, domestic water consumption between 2013 and 2019 represented 133 million cubic meters each year on average. If a quarter corresponds to tourism, we can say that this sector drinks 33.2 million cubic meters. A figure comparable to the groundwater used for irrigation in the Balearic Islands,” he said.

For the full article, please visit Diario de Ibiza website here.

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