Views of La Viñuela, Conde del Guadalhorce and La Concepción reservoirs.

Ver 26 fotos

Views of La Viñuela, Conde del Guadalhorce and La Concepción reservoirs. Ñito Salas / Josele
Drought crisis

Main water supply reservoir for Costa del Sol climbs out of serious drought level following recent downpours

As of Monday 1 April at midday La Concepción, near Marbella, held 31.4 cubic hectometres. But to stay out of the red zone it must maintain at least 30.6 in May and 28.8 in June

Tuesday, 2 April 2024, 12:05


Rains in the past month during storms Monica and Nelson have left 50 cubic hectometres in Malaga province's reservoirs as of yesterday evening (1 April). This is the equivalent to the annual consumption of Malaga city, with the possibility of the figure rising to 60 cubic hectometres due to run-off.

Levels in the province's reservoirs stood at 97 cubic hectometres on 8 March, around the time storm Monica hit. On 1 April at about 6pm, it was clear that they were going to exceed 147 cubic hectometres. However, caution is still being urged as levels are still 25% below their total capacity.

Recent rains have also been vital for underground reserves, such as the Sierra de Mijas; Serranía de Ronda; Chíllar wells; El Torcal; the Río Grande aquifer; Aljaima and Fahala. It comes at a crucial time when the Junta de Andalucía's drought committee is set to reconvene later this week or early next week.

  1. 1

    La Concepción

    It exceeds the 31.4 cubic hectometre level but it will be difficult to withstand the high season in the moderate zone

La Concepción reservoir, between Marbella and Istán, supplies on average 77% of the Costa del Sol's annual consumption. As of Monday 1 April at midday it had climbed out of the serious drought level with 31.4 cubic hectometres. But to stay out of the red zone it must maintain at least 30.6 in May and 28.8 in June, taking into account factors such as demand in the high season and evaporation in the coming months (usually about two hectometres a year).

Related article

Acosol, the water company for the western Costa del Sol issued a statement on Monday assessing the rains, calling for responsible consumption and announcing it would maintain its drastic drop in water pressure at nights (except on Saturday). The reservoir is below the average of recent years, although it already exceeds 56% of its capacity. On 8 March it had 15.38 cubic hectometres; it started Easter week with 20.29, and on Monday had exceeded 32 hectometres and rising, more than doubling its water in a single month. However, last year at this time it had 46.53 hm3.

It will also be boosted by the Marbella desalination plant this summer when the first phase of work will be over and it will be able to provide 1 hm3 per month. It receives around 61% of its water from the river Verde and the rest, in very even percentages, from the diversion dams and wells of the Guadaiza, Guadalmina and Guadalmansa.

  1. 2


    The largest in the system, its reservoirs total 83 hm3, 12 above the serious level

With 153 hm3, it is the second largest reservoir in Malaga province in terms of capacity. It supplies Malaga city and has risen by just 3 hectometres in the last month. It stores 34.52 hm3, which means 22.52% of its capacity. This is a far cry from the 80.92 hm3 it held in April last year.

The good news is that, together with the Guadalhorce, Conde de Guadalhorce and Casasola on Monday 1 April, it added up to more than 83 hm3. The system is fed by the Guadalhorce, Turón and Guadalteba rivers.

  1. 3


    Salinised, it has grown by 6 hm3 in one month

At 21.93 hm3, it is half of last year's level. It is now at 17.44% of its capacity and started March with just 15.38 hm3. Its water is mixed with that of the other reservoirs in the system and treated in the Atabal.

  1. 4

    Conde de Guadalhorce

    Breathes a sigh of relief after falling to an all-time low in September

At 20.66 hm3 it already exceeds the level at this time in 2023. In September, it fell to its historic low, around 11 hm3. It started the March rains with 12.89 and on Easter Monday it had 18.20. The Turón waterfall is now flowing and has become the spot for some spectacular photos.

  1. 5


    Defensive reservoir, the youngest in the province

Inaugurated in 2000, it is a reservoir located in Almogía to stem the floods of the River Campanillas, a tributary of the Guadalhorce. It is hardly used for water supply, about 3 hm3 last year. It is connected to the network of Malaga city, via the Tomillar or Pilones reservoir. It stores 6.33 hm3, which means a growth of only 0.72 hm3 in the last month.

  1. 6


    High quality water, hardly used

Inaugurated in 1983, it is a guarantee for Malaga city against the floods and riads of the Guadalmedina and because it has a separate pipe to the Atabal. In the event of a breakdown or contamination, it is an insurance policy. But, between the drought and the ecological flows, it hardly supplies any water (0.9 hm3 last year).

It has barely gained, just 0.33 hm3 in the two storms in the past month. It stores 4.61, half that of last year.

  1. 7

    La Viñuela

    It does not leave the serious zone, but undergoes the most dramatic change

La Viñuela, in the Axaq¡rquía, was the first reservoir to enter the crisis drought zone and also recently reached an all-time low, in July last year. It started March with 13.19 hm3; on Easter Monday it had 16.51, and has started April with 26.54. It has therefore doubled its reserves in a single month and improved on last year's figures.

One of its main inflows, the river Guaro, has been flowing lately and it is expected to feed more water into the reservoir where it may exceed 30 hm3. This is enough water for a year and a half, taking into account Axarquia consumes 22 and now receives 270 litres per second from Malaga, and that more than half of the supply comes from the wells of the river Chíllar.

Still, the reservoir remains at just 16% of its maximum level. La Viñuela will not climb out of the danger zone until it reaches 41.5 hm3.

Reporta un error en esta noticia

* Campos obligatorios