Some regions of Spain had not seen a drop of water for months and now DANA has hit a large part of the peninsula, leaving numerous floods, especially in the central and eastern regions of the country. The rains, electrical storms and hail have paralyzed the lives of dozens of cities that have been flooded by water and have led Aemet to place 11 communities on weather alert.
However, despite the fact that more rains of up to 20 liters per square meter are still expected in a large part of the country, the worrying situation of drought suffered by many basins in Spain is not being reversed. In fact, instead of increasing, the reservoirs have fallen again.
floods. The havoc caused by the storms has been remarkable. Murcia It is a clear example, with a multitude of floods, vehicle rescues (which we have seen in a number of videos on the Internet) and road closures. Meanwhile, the residents of many municipalities such as Molina de Segura continue to fear the new days of rain that are about to fall. In Lorca, a hailstorm affected the district of Tercia, destroying crops and causing damage valued at almost seven million euros.
In Cabanes and Benicàssim, in Castellón they have not fallen short: more than 200 liters per square meter have been registered. And in Madrid, more than 100 incidents have had to be dealt with and several Metro stations have been closed, which have been literally flooded. And the next few days do not look good: showers and storms are expected to continue in Aragón, the Balearic Islands, both Castillas, Catalonia, Galicia, Murcia, Navarra, the Basque Country, La Rioja and the Valencian Community, which have raised the alert.
The dams keep falling. Despite the waterspouts and floods of the last two weeks, it has not been possible to reverse the drought trend in the country, nor to recover the optimal level of the water reserve in Spain. What’s more, the reservoirs continue to drop. The water level is at 47.5% of its total capacity, 0.2% less than the previous week and continues to drop for the eighth consecutive week, according to data from the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge.
In total, the accumulated water is 26,640 cubic hectometres, slightly less than last year’s figure, which was 27,814 hm³ and much less than the average for the last decade (38,205 hm³). The swamps are 20.9 points below the average of the last decade.
Because? One of the reasons is that these rains are local and intense but very fast. So they do not solve the serious drought that some regions of the country are suffering, especially in the south, such as Andalusia. Although it also has its positive side. As Rubén del Campo, spokesman for Aemet, explains, the rains “have not yet been noticed in the dammed water since the water outflows from the reservoirs have exceeded the inflows” and have not managed to reverse the trend.
Another reason is that we come from very dry months and for a long time. The normal thing at this time of year is that the water in the reservoirs is rising, to make things easier for next summer. But the lack of rain in February, March and April have meant that the reserves have fallen uninterruptedly. According to Del Campo, “we are, therefore, facing one of the driest 8 hydrological years to date since 1961.” And recovering all that is already complicated.
Not everything is bad. However, according to the expert, it also has its positive side: the rainfall of the last few days “represents a very valuable contribution of moisture to the soils, which are currently much drier than normal for this time of year. In addition, since the skies are cloudier and the air humidity is high, evaporation is less and this helps the vegetation to reduce its water stress to some extent.”
Some regions at risk. If we analyze the data by provinces, there are some that are in a much worse situation than others. An example is Córdoba, which with its reserves at 17.9% and losing dammed water, is facing an unprecedented water crisis. Almería is not far behind: it barely has 14.3% of its reserves. Barcelona is not spared either and only 17.9% of its reserves are full.
In Guadalajara, more of the same. Reserves drop for another week and are now at 27.8%. In general, the basins most affected by the drought are those of the Guadalquivir (23.8%), that of Guadalete-Barbate (25.3%), the internal ones of Catalonia (25.6%), Guadiana (31.9% ) and the Andalusian Mediterranean basin (34.3%).
In Xataka | The paradox of the “super storms”: despite the rains, Spanish reservoirs continue to lose water