The Balearic Islands are a major Mediterranean tourist destination that features one of the greatest swimming pool densities within Europe. In this paper, standard meteorological data were combined with a diachronic swimming pool inventory to estimate water evaporation from swimming pools over the Balearic archipelago. Evaporation was estimated using an empirical equation designed for open-water surfaces. Results revealed a 32% increase in swimming pools’ water use by 2015. Evaporation from swimming pools added 9.6 L of water to touristic consumption per guest night and person, and represented 4.9% of the total urban water consumption. In 2015, almost 5 hm3
(5 billion L) were lost from pools across the Balearic Islands. In several densely urbanized areas, evaporative water loss from pools exceeded four million litres per square kilometre and year. The water needed to refill the total of 62,599 swimming pools and to counteract evaporative water loss is equivalent to 1.2 pools per year. Swimming pools have rapidly proliferated across the islands. We have expounded on this development in view of much-needed responsible water management across the islands.
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