It has barely rained in Spain in recent weeks. And with that, brings consequences. The country is dry and water reserves in reservoirs have fallen again. For the first time this year, the level is below the 40% mark.
This is the ninth week in a row in which water reserves are declining, with a total drop of 675 cubic hectometres, or 1.2% less than the previous week. Water in reservoirs stands at 39.9% of total capacity after the last seven days, with 22,379 cubic hectometres.
This is according to data from the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge. Compared to previous years’ figures, the amount of water currently in reservoirs is 22,379 cubic hectometres. This is much lower than the average for the same week over the past 10 years, which is 31,158 cubic hectometres of water. The drought has already led to measures to reduce water use in many parts of Spain, affecting almost 9 million people.
On a positive note, however, this week’s figure is higher than the amount measured at the same time in 2022. That was 21,291 cubic hectometres, according to ministry data.
Status of reservoirs
The hydrological basins with the lowest reserves are still those of Guadalete-Barbate (18%), Guadalquivir (20.4%) and Guadiana (25.7%). This is followed by the internal basins of Catalonia (26.3%), the Andalucian Mediterranean (28.1%) and Segura (28.9%).
The Ebro (42.5%), Tagus (49.9%), Duero (50.1%) and Júcar (50.5%) are in average condition. The situation is best in the reservoirs of western Cantabria (85.5%), eastern Cantabria (83.6%), Basque Country (71.4%), Miño-Sil (65.6%) and Galicia Costa (64.5%).
Andalucia’s cry for help
The situation in Andalucia is particularly serious. Reason for regional minister Antonio Sanz to call for “a great alliance against drought between governments” on Wednesday. He addressed the request he made to ‘whoever governs’. He called the current situation, in the absence of rain, ‘alarming’. Last week, two million people already faced water restrictions. Santa Olalla, the largest permanent lagoon in the Andalucian Doñana Natural Park, has dried up for the second year in a row. This is partly due to the lack of precipitation and has a major impact on the park’s biodiversity.
Sanz also reported that Andalucia feels “alone, abandoned and betrayed” by the Spanish government. ‘Andalucia cannot continue to suffer under the Sánchez government in terms of water and drought. I want to ask the Sánchez government to stop looking the other way,’ the minister said.