HomeHoroscopeWarning to UK travellers as popular European holiday spot declares emergency

Warning to UK travellers as popular European holiday spot declares emergency

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The Canary Island is experiencing severe water shortages (Picture: Getty Images)

A warning has been issued to tourists heading to Tenerife, as the Spanish destination – popular with UK travellers – faces sever water shortages.

The Tenerife Island Water Council declared an emergency over a drought affecting the holiday hotspot, and government officials have now stepped in to reduce unnecessary water use.

After the Canary Island recorded its hottest February since 1961 following wildfires last year, visitor numbers continue to grow, with some officials blaming tourists for the ‘complex’ situation in Tenerife.

One hotel was found to be using up to 400 litres of water per guest each day – four times more than a local resident.

And since there are less than a million residents here, compared to 5.6 million visitors last year alone, experts claim ongoing pressure on services could lead to ‘systemic collapse’.

Fasnia town council has launched a series of restrictions to address the shortages, banning the use of drinking water for tasks such as watering farms and gardens, or filling swimming pools, tanks, ponds or reservoirs.

Some politicians have blamed overtourism (Picture: Getty Images)

This prevents people from washing cars and even taking beach showers, as water is diverted to the tourist-heavy south of the island.

Mayor Luis Javier Gonzalez stated: ‘If we continue to bet on the massive arrival of tourism and the scarcity of water resources is maintained, the situation will be more complex.’

Throughout the country, public information campaigns will also highlight the importance of responsible water use – both for travellers and residents.

Locals have been part of a recent backlash against growing levels of tourism in Tenerife, with graffiti popping up on walls of Palm-Mar telling holidaymakers to ‘go home’.

Tourists greatly outnumber residents in Tenerife (Picture: Getty Images)

Messages like ‘my misery your paradise’ and ‘average salary in Canary Islands is 1,200’ were also posted, and protestors have recently demanded an ‘eco-tax’ for tourists be introduced.

Social and environmental groups took to the streets last month waving placards saying ‘the Canaries are no longer a paradise’ and ‘the Canaries are not for sale’. One protester also said that the island community was close to ‘completely collapsing’.

A recent report by Ben Magec-Ecologists in Action claimed: ‘Uncontrolled, increase in the non-resident population of European origin, giving rise to completely overcrowded islands in which the generation of waste and the exploitation of resources cause an almost irreversible degradation of our natural ecosystems.’

So if you do have a break booked to Tenerife in the coming months, bear this in mind. We should all aim to be responsible travellers, but conserving water and being respectful to the local landscape is of extra importance right now.

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