The quality of bathing waters in Ibiza drastically decreases despite the coronavirus crisis

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Home / Press / The quality of bathing waters in Ibiza drastically decreases despite the coronavirus crisis
The quality of bathing waters in Ibiza drastically decreases despite the coronavirus crisis

During 2020 in 25.5% of the point samples of Ibiza, at least one fecal contamination was registered, double that in 2019

Ibiza, 21-07-21 – The United Nations Economic and Social Commission has recently suggested that the temporary stoppage of activity, as well as the reduction in human movements and resource demands due to the COVID-19 pandemic can provide marine environments with the much needed breath to begin to recover. However, the data collected in Ibiza during 2020 does not meet this prediction. This is evidenced by the information collected by the IbizaPreservation Sustainability Observatory compiled in the Ibiza 2020 Sustainability Report, currently in the preparation phase.

Comparing the data from the Government’s classification, 2010, 2015 and 2020, a gradual decrease in the quality of bathing waters in Ibiza can be seen. In 2010 all the waters analyzed in 40 points off the Pitiusan coast were classified as “excellent”. Nonetheless, this quality has been declining throughout the decade: in 2015, there were 38 sampling points that presented “excellent” waters, 95% of the total scores, while in 3 areas the waters were classified as “good”. Five years later, in 2020, the figure dropped to 65%; in other words, only in 26 of the 40 sampling points were the waters classified as “excellent” (15 less than in 2010). In addition, 12 sampling points offered “good” water, (4 more than in 2015) and 3 showed water of “sufficient” quality. In other words, the deterioration in the quality of bathing water has been continuous in the last decade and represents a drop of 35%.

Sant Antoni de Pormany, the municipality with the greatest loss of quality

The qualitative evolution of waters at the municipal level is not presented in a homogeneous way. The quality has decreased in 3 of the sampling points in the municipality of Eivissa: in Talamanca beach and Figueretas; In this first one, one of the points was considered “sufficient” quality water. But Sant Antoni was the municipality with the highest qualitative losses, registered in 4 locations. Of these, 2 are in the bay area, showing “sufficient” quality, another in Cala Gració and the other in Caló des Moro.

Meanwhile, in Santa Eulalia in 2 bathing areas the quality offered was “good” instead of “excellent”: Platja des Riu and Cala Pada. For its part, in the sampled areas of the municipality of Sant Joan, the quality of the water has decreased in 3 sampling points: in the Port of Sant Miquel, Portinatx and s’Arenal Gros showing “good” quality. Lastly, in Sant Josep, there are 3 areas classified as “good” and not “excellent”: Platja des Pinet, Bahia de Sant Antoni and Cala Vadella.

It is worth noting that this classification by categories made by the Balearic Government is done annually, therefore, this specific feces contamination in the waters is not reflected. For this reason, from the IbizaPreservation Sustainability Observatory, the technical coordinator, Inma Saranova, indicates that to analyze the quality of the waters accurately, it is preferable to stick to the individual samplings carried out on the beaches during 2020.

In this sense, last year samples were taken in 43 different bathing points in the Pitiusas and, of these, 12 have offered values ​​higher than those legally allowed due to punctual contamination by fecal bacteria: In Sant Antoni de Portmany next to the breakwater and in the center of the beach; in Santa Eulària des Riu in Cala Llenya and in Platja des Riu; in Sant Joan de Labritja in s’Arenal Gros and in Portinatx; and in Sant Josep de Sa Talaia in es Caló d’en Serralt, Cala d’Hort, Platja d’en Bossa, Platja des Pinet in es Port des Torrent. In these cases, in these bathing areas it has been recommended not to bathe on one or more occasions throughout the summer period of 2020. “In most of these beaches it has been done in a puntual way while in Platja des Pinet it occurred two times last summer, ”says Saranova.

The quality of bathing water in Ibiza has gradually decreased in the last decade

“It is striking that in a year in which there was an unequaled stoppage of tourism, and therefore of human pressure and economic activity, the quality of the waters has suffered such a significant decline”, acknowledges the coordinator of the Observatory, who points out that, although in places where fecal contamination events are recurrent, the insufficiency of current infrastructures may probably have an influence, “since many of these situations occur after rainy events.” According to Saranova, “the stoppage of the pandemic has served to stop blaming human pressure exclusively for the deterioration of the Ibiza seas and to begin to delve into the real causes of this situation.”

Due to this, the IbizaPreservation Sustainability Observatory urge the administrations to study and identify in a rigorous and scientific way, what are the causes of the decrease in the quality of bathing water on the island of Ibiza, to act with haste and impose adequate solutions.