It is June and summer has truly arrived, like it does every year. As I enjoy my coffee on the outside terrace I watch the colourful mixture of people strolling along the seaside attracted by the sea and the sunshine. I imagine some of them being the ‘lucky ones’ who will be able to go back to a villa with a swimming pool to wash away the heat. Something worries me though. Most people, the tourists, the expats, but also the Spanish locals, often seem to take water for granted. Excessively watering the plants in a much loved-garden, leaving the tap running when brushing their teeth or cleaning vegetables or fish, adding fresh water to the swimming pool, taking extra long showers to soothe sun-burned skin or a warm bath to pamper a chilly body … it all seems so normal.
It seems nobody wonders where all this water is coming from. When it rains, which is quite frankly not happening anywhere near enough, it does usually pour down and streets can turn into rivers in no time, but people are quick to moan and start wishing for the sun to come back. That’s especially understandable in the case of people who have come here for a sunshine holiday, but if you are in the privileged position to call this beautiful region your home for longer periods during the year, maybe it’s time to start looking at the rain as a gift.
It is so very necessary in Andalusia, also in La Herradura. The local economy is based on agriculture, for example the cultivation of avocado and tropical fruit, as well as tourism and both need large amounts of water. In a sense we are lucky that there is a large underground water reservoir in La Herradura, but to keep that full it has to rain during the winter months. When there is too little rain the salty sea water mixes in with the fresh mountain water and water from the tap becomes salty – something that is disastrous for the farmers and not at all desirable if you want to shower off the salty sea water.
If we all become a little bit more aware of how special our water is, we might treat it with the respect it needs – a precious gift from nature. Let’s all do our bit to conserve water wherever we can. Mindfulness, not wastefulness is what will conserve this precious resource.