Tourism, and particularly residential tourism, has led to a change in the urban and demographic model of towns along the European Mediterranean coastline. Water as a resource limited and limiting for the growth of tourism is a popular topic in the scientific literature. However, the incorporation of non-conventional resources (desalination) has meant, in theory, that this limitation has been overcome. The aims of this paper are: (a) to identify the different tourism models existing in coastal towns in Alicante province and characterize them according to their water consumption from 2002–2017; and (b) analyse the hydrosocial cycle, highlighting the measures aimed at satisfying water demand and identifying the limitations related to these hydrosocial systems. To this end, different types of information have been processed, and various basic indicators have been analysed. The results revealed the increase in the resilience of this region to natural aridity and drought events. This was possible because the demand management and the use of desalinated water. However, this has generated other problems associated (energetics, environmental) due to maintenance of a non-sustainable territorial model based on an accelerated real estate development.
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