Former Huddersfield gymnast and pub landlord Brian Hayhurst and his wife Elaine are ex-pats who have lived just outside Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol for 20 years. He writes a regular blog for Huddersfield Hub.

The desperate lack of water throughout southern Spain continues, and I asked my old Huddersfield mate of over 60 years, Allen Conroy, to give his thoughts on the current and future situation as a highly qualified engineer.

For decades he has been CEO of power and water desalination plants across the Middle East – Doha, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Jordan plus many others, and now settled here on the Costa with his wife Elaine (pictured above).

Allen said: “With depleted reservoirs there are obvious concerns for the future availability of water for the summer of 2024 and ahead here.

“Bringing more water to the area – tankers, bowsers by road and even pipelines. These are costly short-term knee-jerk reactions to a problem which requires a long-term solution.

“I feel the only meaningful alternative to waiting for unpredictable rainfall is the installation of more desalination capacity, close to the demand centre. And the most appropriate process would be RO (Reverse Osmosis).

“The RO system does not come cheap as it requires high pressure pumps plus pre-treated, close control of raw sea water.”

I asked Allen about Spain’s current desalination history. I was most surprised with his awareness of the country’s efforts to satisfy the demand saying: “There is much to do, and soon.”

Meanwhile, hotel groups in Fuengirola have assured holidaymakers there will be “no water shortages this summer as tanks have been installed.”

Allen, apprentice-trained at David Brown’s, added: “It may surprise many to know that there are 765 desal plants in the country and ironically Spain has been a pioneer in the process.

“In fact the first plant in Europe was installed in Lanzarote in 1964 making Spain fifth in the world with 50 years of experience with its internationally recognised design still providing drinking water for the island.”

Allen summarised his four page, fact filled document with questions we all want the answers to:

  • Why has the government hesitated on providing more desalination capacity?
  • Were they expecting more rain (against the backdrop of climate change)?
  • Were they satisfied with the adequacy of reservoir capacity?
  • Were they not expecting the massive overbuilding now taking place which is sapping up water and almost forgetting the farming community?

I thanked Allen for his in-depth knowledge and time spent giving me the information, apologising for my brief summary of his extensive response.

READ MORE: Catch up on Brian’s previous blogs HERE

Valentine’s Day and night passed either side of February 14 with fun and fine dining at many of the restaurants offering romantic meals ranging from basic menus to lavish feasts, some with entertainment in salubrious surroundings.

Although we did have a few days of heavy rain, it was followed by bright sunshine with lots taking to the beaches to enjoy the unusually warm days and nights.

Last year a record of approximately 84 million visitors came to Spain but there is concern that climate change could impact Spanish’s tourism sector. It could be too hot for many!

I sadly missed the annual Rock n’ Roll festival in Torremolinos earlier this month. The town was rammed for several days with 50s and 60s music with many in costumes to match the vibrant atmosphere.

Finally, it’s three years since I was given the opportunity to write voluntarily for Huddersfield Hub by the editor, Martin Shaw. I’m grateful for his support and hope readers enjoy my contributions as much as I enjoy writing them.