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A suitcase of water

Water conservation campaign

Water conservation campaign

The Government of the Balearic Islands initiated a campaign to save one of the islands' most precious resources at the start of the tourist season. Water is quite, to say the least, scarce on the islands; there isn't a lot of rain, there aren't any rivers or lakes, and the arrival of millions of tourists in just one part of the year – the hottest and driest – draws heavily on the supply of water.

So in an effort to get the point across to tourists from all over Europe – including Spain – the Govern came up with a novel idea of raising awareness about the importance of saving water. They arranged that when newly arrived passengers were waiting at the baggage carousel a 'suitcase' containing water would circulate along the belt.

The transparent case, divided into two sections, contained water representing the rainfall in Mallorca on one side and the passengers' home city in the other. The difference in the amounts of water therein was staggering, triggering some amazed responses from the passengers.

The Govern has also circulated an informative leaflet illustrating to tourists and residents just how water can be saved – all of which would apply to people on holiday in a villa and some (quicker showers and not leaving taps running) to those in hotels.

This is a subject dear to my heart as my house used to receive 'water' from a well in the field behind it. It contained sand and lots of calcium because of the over-use of water on the island and was a nightmare with washing machines, dishwashers, toilets and even for washing your hair.

When the well ran dry we had to truck water in by tanker, buying 8000 litres at a time to fill the water cistern in the house and it was really difficult trying to get across to clients at my villa that if they used too much water the cistern would empty and they'd have none at all.

One group of four people used 8000 litres in four days and at that rate would have used the equivalent of a whole swimming pool in just over three weeks!

So, like the Govern and some of the people on the video say, think carefully and conserve water.