Spanish water reservoirs are significantly lower than a year ago

by Lorraine Williamson
Spanish water reservoirs drought - stock image

MADRID – Spanish water reservoirs are now using 44.3% of their capacity, 30.13% less than a year ago, reports the Spanish Ministry for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge (MITECO).

The water reserve in Spain this week still stands at 44.3% of its total capacity. The amount of water stored is 24,868 cubic hectometres, despite the loss of 14 cubic hectometres. This means that the water stock is 29.61% lower than the ten-year average, which amounts to 10,500 cubic hectometres. Compared to the same week in 2021, there is 30.13% less water, equivalent to 10,724 cubic hectometres.  

Autonomous regions 

Broken down by autonomous regions, reservoir capacity is 82.2% in Eastern Cantabria; 61.8% in Western Cantabria; 53.1% in Miño-Sil (Galicia); 61.8% in Galicia Costa. 95.2% in the Basque Country’s internal reservoirs; 74.2% in Tinto, Odiel, and Piedras; in Júcar, 54.8%; the Ebro, 65.1% and Catalonia’s internal reservoirs, 54.9%.  

Less than half capacity 

The reservoirs with levels below half capacity are the Duero, with 49.9%; the Tajo, with 45.4%; Guadiana, with 30.3%; the Mediterranean basin in Andalucia with 30% Guadalete-Barbate, with 29.5%; Guadalquivir, with 28.5%; and Segura, with 33.8%.   

Extreme drought  

According to data provided by MITECO to Spanish news site Europa Press, water reserves in the eighth week of the year were not this low since 2019, when they averaged 41.95% of their total capacity. Before 2019, the level in this February week was lower only in 2008, at 44.12%; in 1995, at 40.39%; 1993, at 41.21%; in 1992 at 40.15% and in 1989 at 42.52%. These were also the driest years, with some of them even having an officially declared situation of drought.  

This year, too, we are experiencing a severe drought. Last week it rained on the Atlantic coast, with 31.3 litres per square metre measured in San Sebastián. Around the Mediterranean, however, there was very little precipitation. The Agriculture Ministers of Spain and Portugal raised the extreme situation of drought with the European Commission earlier this month.    

Related post: drought in Spain 

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