The rain in Spain

End of August rain

End of August rain in Jávea. Image courtesy of Alexandra Hirschbach

It feels as if the end of season rains have arrived a little earlier this year. For the residents of the Costa Blanca it comes as a welcome relief from what has been a long, hot and dry summer.

However, holidaymakers are less enthusiastic about the rain, but it will soon clear and the ground will return to being parched once again. It is still August and by tomorrow the beaches will once again be bustling with activity. The rain will have helped increase footfall in the many bars, shops and restaurants along the coast, but it will have done little to replenish the boreholes and reservoirs on which the Costa Blanca depends.

As I watch heavy drops of rain splashing onto the drive, I am reminded that nearly all of it will be run off to sea. When the sun returns, even the dampened topsoil will dry out. However, as tomorrow dawns on the golf courses of the CB, they will be spraying millions of gallons of water, as they have done nearly every day since the start of the summer. Water that is needed to keep the grass alive and with it, an economy that relies on tourism.

For me the paradox is obvious. Whilst there have been plenty of fine words spoken about saving water (Spaniards are reminded every day to save every drop on the popular TV channels). Little, in real terms is being done to address the problem. Despite the crisis in the economy, there remains money to build new houses. The construction is for the most part welcome. The work helps drive the local economy and the houses will eventually be occupied. Meanwhile, just a few meters away, the precious gift of water silently slips past and returns to the sea.

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