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La Viñuela is on verge of drought as low water levels cause concern

La Viñuela reservoir from Los Romanes.
La Viñuela reservoir from Los Romanes. / EUGENIO CABEZAS
  • Axarquía farmers have faced water shortages over summer and reservoir levels are lower than in 2018

Despite last weekend's rainfall, according to data from the Junta de Andalucía's automatic hydraulic information system (Hidrosur), La Viñuela reservoir will finish this water year (October to September) on the verge of drought. It is five cubic hectometres lower than this time last year (currently 55.6 hm3) and the regional government's department for agriculture, fisheries and sustainable development, which oversees the province's reservoirs, considers that while it isn't an emergency situation, the reservoir is on alert.

Before summer the level was at 69.9 cubic hectometres, compared with 72.39 for the same time last year. Water is destined for agriculture and human consumption. However, farmers have seen restrictions on the amount of water they are authorised to use in a year and some saw their supplies being limited due to using more than their permitted limits.

Farmers have said that they don't understand why there isn't more water in the reservoir as a result of the rainfall. However, a number of tunnels which should carry water directly from the Axarquía's rivers into La Viñuela reservoir became blocked by debris being carried along by the force of the rivers.

Although further rain is forecast for this weekend, Hidrosur predicts that La Viñuela won't reach the same levels as this time last year.