Critical water level Andalucia may lead to a state of emergency

by Lorraine Williamson
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ANDALUCIA – The water level of the lakes and reservoirs in Spain, especially in western Andalucia, is approaching a critical level. The situation is now so worrying that the water board of the Guadalquivir can declare a state of emergency this month.  

More than a week ago, Spanish news site, DiarioSur wrote about the disturbing water levels in the lakes of Guadiana, the Guadalquivir, and the Guadalete-Barbate. On average, the level in these lakes is about 30% lower than the usual water level. 

Water level of Córdoba reservoirs is falling sharply 

Around this time of year, 55% is an acceptable level of reservoirs in southern Spain. However, in the province of Córdoba, reservoirs are currently reaching just 22%. This is the lowest percentage in the past 13 years. 

The Breña reservoir is one of the hardest-hit areas with barely 15% of its maximum capacity. The cause of the low water level in the reservoirs in this part of Spain is mainly due to virtually no rain. 

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Water level in other reservoirs also worse 

The situation is not only critical in Andalucia. It is is also far from good in Valdecañas (Cáceres) and Ricobayo (Zamora). However, not all reservoirs are in a critical situation. But the figures of the 1,200 lakes that form a network are certainly a lot worse than a year ago. Last year the level of all these water reserves together was about 55%. A year on, and the level is just above 45%. 

According to the Ministry of Ecological Transition, 59% of the maximum capacity of reservoirs has been considered normal in the past ten years. For Spain as a whole, this percentage is currently 14% lower. As a result, Spain can store 25% less water than the average over the past ten years. The Spanish-language article by DiarioSur shows the current situation per region in Spain using maps. 

Possible state of emergency in Andalucia 

The situation in Andalucia is so dire that the Confederación Hidrográfica of the Guadalquivir could declare a state of emergency. According to the Spanish news site La Sexta, the water board is currently looking at the consequences of a drought decision. Because this also has an impact on the agricultural sector, for example. 

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