Update 8 August: The Canarian Government’s Dirección General de Salud Pública has lifted the ban on drinking water in some areas of the municipality of Garachico. The ban is lifted in Las Cruces, San Pedro and La Caleta, where the Ayuntamiento has confirmed that tapwater can be drunk. The ban remains for children under 8 years of age in the medianías and altitude areas. The bans remain as previously in all other areas mentioned.
Update 1 August: The best political and scientific brains have ended up today wringing their hands and saying that there’s no solution in the world to this problem. The best they can come up with, it seems, is an agreement to “improve coordination” between the water and health authorities and the government. This comes after today’s meeting in Icod de los Vinos between the Consejo Insular de Aguas, the Dirección General de Salud Pública del Gobierno de Canarias, and the northern ayuntamientos.
There are various sticking-plaster solutions being considered, such as increasing water from the Vergara galeria and reducing that from Hoya del Cedro, but for the moment, the 13 municipalities in north Tenerife affected by excess fluoride in their tap water remain on restriction. Those municipalities affected are Icod, La Guancha, San Juan de la Rambla, La Matanza, Buenavista, El Tanque, Garachico, Los Silos, El Sauzal, La Victoria, Santa Úrsula, Tacoronte, and La Laguna.
Update 27 July: Many mayors and officials of the municipalities in north Tenerife that are subject to the health authorities’ restrictions on water have expressed irritation over the move, saying that the problem has been “overstated”. Yesterday, however, Salud Pública updated its restrictions, and has maintained them all bar Tegueste, where the water is said to be safe to drink. The health authorities insist, as of yesterday, that their warnings are correct.
Original post 24 July: There are wide-ranging water restrictions in place in fourteen municipalities throughout north Tenerife because of excessive levels of fluoride in the water. Residents are advised not only not to drink the water, but also not to cook nor prepare food with it. In some areas the restriction applies only to children under eight years of age, but in others to everyone. The health authorities actually announced the restrictions last month on their website but it is only now that it has been disseminated and become reasonably widespread public knowledge.
Restrictions apply to children only in: San Juan de la Rambla; La Guancha; La Matanza; Santa Úrsula ((Pino Alto, La Tosquita, La Corujera, La Corujera Alta, Cuesta La Villa, Tamaide, Urbanización Paraíso, La Vera, El Farrobillo, Tosca Barrios and El Calvario); La Victoria ((La Vera-Carril and La Resbala); El Sauzal (Carretera Vecinal, La Costa, La Baranda, El Calvario, El Montillo, Ravelo, Ravelo Alto and Bajo); Tacoronte (Chupadero, Agua García, Guayonge, Casas Altas, La Luz and Barranco Las Lajas); Tegueste (Caidero, Los Laureles, Pedro Álvarez, Las Canteras, El Palomar, Faria, La Cruz, Los Barriales, Blas Núñez, El Portezuelo, Molina, El Infierno, San Gonzalo); and La Laguna (Guajara, Las Chumberas, Geneto, Gracia y Los Baldíos).
They apply to everyone, children and adults alike, in: Buenavista (Casco, El Palmar, La Cuesta, Las Canteras, Las Portelas, Teno, Triana y Rincón); Los Silos (Erjos); El Tanque (Casco, Erjos, San José de los Llanos, Ruigómez and La Hoya); Garachico (Casco, El Guincho, La Montañeta, Genovés, San Juan del Reparo, Caleta de Interián, San Pedro de Daute and Las Cruces); and the whole of Icod de los Vinos.
There is a separate restriction on all alimentary uses of water in various areas of Puerto de la Cruz (these aren’t detailed) because of nitrates – it applies to children under three months of age and pregnant women. Again, this was published last month but not disseminated. It is said that those who fear they might be affected can call Aqualia’s customer information line on 902 23 60 23, but as of yesterday they were saying they were unaware of the restriction. Where that leaves people in Puerto de la Cruz I don’t know.