Drone view of a swimming pool, Source: Unsplash

This Spanish town will check if residents abide to pool ban with drones

This Spanish town will check if residents abide to pool ban with drones

The ongoing drought alert has caused the authorities to forbid the filling of private pools

Calafell, a city in the Spanish region of Catalonia, has prohibited the filling of private pools as a way of overcoming the drought alert that has been in place for some weeks now. And in order to ensure that the rule is not broken by the residents, the authorities have decided to resort to modern technology, namely – drones.

There are some 2,500 swimming pools located on private properties in the municipal territory, many of which - behind walls. So, the best way to make sure that the pools stay empty is by taking pictures of them from the air. In the mornings, between 7:00 and 8:00 am, the flying machines will do rounds taking photos. Repeating the flying missions over the pools daily will give the authorities the chance to compare whether any changes have occurred to the pool in terms of water appearance.

What about privacy though?

The town council said that the goal of the measure is not to punish residents, but to raise awareness about the need to preserve water in trying times, such as these.

Still, if caught violating the ordinance, fines will be imposed – ranging between 750 and 1,500 euros.

Taking footage of people’s private properties, however, also raises questions about breaches of privacy. According to El Nacional, the authorities have decided to launch the drone flights early in the morning in order to minimize the possibility of taking pictures of people in their pools. If that happens, however, they promise that the photos will be deleted.

Calafell has also established other measures to alleviate the drought, among which stand out the cutting of street fountains, the shutting off of beach showers, except for the foot-cleaners. Regarding parks and gardens, irrigation has been reduced to a minimum for the survival of plants.



Growing City


Smart City


Green City


Social City


New European Bauhaus




ECP 2021 Winner TheMayorEU