Spain runs out of water

Hydraulic reserve of the Iberian Peninsula

This year we are witnessing one of the most serious consequences of climate change: drought. It is no longer just that the average temperature is increasing, something that endangers our forests, but that it is not raining as it should. The reservoirs are running out of water, and if the situation does not improve soon we could suffer cuts in your supply.

The drought that we are suffering, especially in the north of the peninsula, It is the worst that has been lived in the country for more than 25 years.

What is the situation of the reservoirs?

Reservoirs are below 50%. Right now, we are living in a thirsty country. In the Duero Basin, they are less than 30%, when last year at this time they were around 60%. The Guadalquivir basin is at 40%, the Júcar at 30% and the Segura at 18%.

The Miño and Sil basins, once well stocked, are now in a state of emergency: rainfall in that area has decreased between 25 and 30% on average in the last 40 years.

Consequences of drought

Map of the state of drought in Spain

The low rainfall and the increase in temperature, as well as the increase in the population (especially tourism) are the main responsible for this decrease in water in the reservoirs. But, in a way, this was something that could be predicted. We had one very hot spring, a summer also hot and dry which has lasted until almost the beginning of October in many places such as the Mediterranean region.

The rains seem not to want to come, which has forced 60 towns in Castilla y León to supply the precious liquid with tanker trucks, and almost 30 in Guadalajara and Cuenca. In addition, there are areas in La Rioja, in the Sierra Sur de Sevilla, in the Axarquía of Malaga, in the northwest of León, the center of Ourense and in many towns in Extremadura that may be affected by power cuts. But these are not the only consequences.

When it rains excessively and the swamps are full, the hydroelectric plants open the floodgates to produce energy. This causes prices to go down; instead, When water is lacking, companies decide when to produce energy, which raises the electricity bill.

For agriculture and livestock drought is a very serious problem. Without water, neither plants can grow nor animals can subsist.

It only remains to wait for it to rain. Perhaps in the future the seeding of rain clouds can solve the problem.


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  1.   Tito Erazo said

    In my country, Ecuador, and particularly in my Manabi Province, we are experiencing a readjustment of the seasonal periods, which are having an impact above all on the duration of the periods and intensity of the rains, since they are very short and with less intensity. This behavior affects our region, especially in the agricultural sector, also in the supply of water for urban consumption.