British expat haven in southern Spain is accused of ‘ignoring drought measures’: Villa owners face €6,000 fines for filling up private swimming pools

A BRITISH expat haven in southern Spain has been accused of ignoring drought measures by using sprinklers and filling up swimming pools. 

The upmarket community has been warned that anyone found breaking the rules could face fines of up to €6,000, reports Europa Sur.

In a press conference last month, the Agua y Residuos del Campo de Gibraltar (Arcgisa), criticised residents in Sotogrande for failing to comply with restrictions – which are in place across the region of Andalucia until at least June 1. 

It added that Sotogrande, an exclusive enclave where homes can fetch millions of euros, was the only area in the municipality of San Roque to be breaking the rules. 

READ MORE: Swimming pools latest in Andalucia

Sotogrande Aerial View Wiki
Sotogrande in southern Spain

Chalet owners were accused of using automatic sprinklers to irrigate gardens an of filling or refilling their swimming pools. 

The general director of Arcgisa, Jose Manuel Alcantara, branded the behaviour as ‘unsupportive’, adding that it was ‘substantially’ altering the consumption figures of San Roque, where residents had been complying in the historic centre and other neighborhoods. 

Alcantara asked for ‘restraint’ for those users who were exceeding the maximum consumption of  200 litres per inhabitant per day, decreed by the Junta de Andalucia – adding that they are exposing themselves to risk of €6,000 fines. 

He warned that he will be reporting property owners who break the rules and even threatened to cut off their water supply in the most severe cases. 

The drought monitoring commission said the filling of swimming pools must have prior authorisation. 

Currently, the only pools that can be authorised for filling are municipal or community pools, pools in tourist accommodations, sports or social clubs, and those that are intended for therapeutic purposes in health centres in the municipalities where consumption limits are met. 

Private pools are not allowed to be filled. These measures will be reviewed again at the beginning of June, just before the beginning of summer.

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