The effects of the drought on La Viñuela reservoir in Malaga. Salvador Salas
How much water do the reservoirs in Andalucía currently hold?
Drought crisis

How much water do the reservoirs in Andalucía currently hold?

The levels across the region continue to drop and the situation is much worse than last summer

José Luis Piedra

Friday, 18 August 2023, 08:31


The severe drought plaguing Andalucía is depleting water reserves at an alarming rate, with reservoirs across the region just 21.5% full.

The water reserves lost 55 cubic hectometres through consumption and evaporation over the past week, bringing the total down to 2,409 cubic hectometres, only 21.57% of their capacity. The situation is worse than last year's summer - in 2022 the reservoirs contained 2,987 cubic hectometres of water (26.74% capacity).

During the past week, the water stored in the reservoirs of the Guadalquivir basin dropped to 20.4% of their capacity, while reserves in the Andalusian Mediterranean Basin dropped to 28.1%. These are the two main reservoir systems in Andalucía, and the water stores that supply the largest population. The reservoirs of the Tinto, Odiel and Piedras in Huelva, and the Guadalete-Barbate in Cádiz, store just over 340 cubic hectometres combined. While the reservoirs in Huelva are at 143 cubic hectometres.

Andalucía's predicament is more serious than wider Spain, where national reservoirs are at 39.9% of their total capacity. Rainfall has been scarce on the Atlantic side and practically non-existent in the Mediterranean areas - there has been no substantial rain in Andalucía since June.

The reservoirs store 2,409 cubic hectometres and lost 55 due to consumption during the last week

Regional minister Antonio Sanz, on Wednesday 16 August called for "a great alliance between all the administrations" to help tackle the drought. Sanz also claimed that the Andalusian government "felt abandoned and betrayed" by the national government in helping to combat drought. "Madrid must stop looking the other way, as it is seriously neglecting its responsibilities in terms of water, and now we have to join forces, because we are in a situation of the utmost concern," he added.


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