The summer may well be coming to an end, but the water crisis is not and yesterday the Balearic government announced a hose-pipe ban, prohibiting residents in Palma, Calvia and Andratx from watering their gardens for the next week, during which time the authorities hope that the latest fault to have crippled the desalination plant is repaired. The Palma desalination plant broke down on Thursday night, but the Balearic Minister for the Environment, Margalida Rosselló, said yesterday that the fault has provoked five further problems, which have left the government with no option but to introduce the hose-pipe ban and urge consumers to save water while engineers rush to repair the plant. The week-long closure of the plant will mean that Palma, Calvia and Andratx will be 135'000 cubic metres of water short per day. The Drought Commission, which held an emergency meeting yesterday morning, has also ordered local councils to enforce the hose-pipe ban and to refrain from watering public gardens and parks. Large commercial consumers, such as Palma airport and the port authority are also being asked to reduce water consumption for the next week. In Calvia, the large hotel complexes have also been ordered to water saving plans and to be more economical with water consumption. Rosselló is confident that if the general public and institutions co-operate, then there will be no major problems while the plant is being repaired and that in order to guarantee a regular water supply, water extraction from wells and the reservoirs is being increased “there'll be no problems” she said.

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