Run-off is already arriving at La Concepción reservoir which serves much of the western strip of the Costa del Sol. Juan Carlos Domínguez
Last weekend's rain deposited equivalent of 300 ships full of water in Malaga reservoirs
Drought crisis

Last weekend's rain deposited equivalent of 300 ships full of water in Malaga reservoirs

Reserves have already increased by 12 cubic hectometres since the storm, but the province's reservoirs are at only 18% of their total capacity. These are the current levels...

Chus Heredia


Friday, 15 March 2024, 11:14


The best rainfall in two years that fell across Malaga province last weekend left the equivalent of what 300 ships full of water could bring to the province. That is one of the drought crisis relief options that is being considered unless more downpours arrive before the summer season.

Around 12,000 million litres was deposited after last weekend's rains, a much-needed boost to the province's reservoirs. More could end up in the province's reservoirs due to run-off from the mountains over the next two weeks.

As of yesterday (Thursday 14 March) the reservoirs in Malaga province passed an important threshold holding 110 cubic hectometres. A week ago they were at just over 97. The 12.37 hectometre increase means the reservoirs are at 18% of their total capacity.

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The collected rainfall would be enough to supply a city of 180,000 inhabitants, but across Malaga province, the population is around 1.8 million. However, not all of the province uses drinking water from reservoirs, but also from wells and desalination plants.

The numbers on the Costa del Sol

On the Costa del Sol, La Concepción reservoir, located between Marbella and Istán, has seen its level rise by 3.55 cubic hectometres; it stores 18.86 and that is just under a third of its capacity. This summer, the first phase of the expansion of the Marbella desalination plant will be able to produce up to one cubic hectometre per month, as well as water collected from wells in Fuengirola and Estepona.

Guadalhorce-Limonero system

The four reservoirs of the Guadalhorce-Limonero system equal 69 cubic hectometres, close to the threshold (71) that marks a status of serious drought. But it not only has to reach that level, it needs to maintain it for a month. This would guarantee enough water for more than a year.

The reservoir that has gained the most, already on the way to three hectometres, is the Conde del Guadalhorce, which in autumn was at an all-time low. The Guadalhorce added 2.33 cubic hectometres, while the Guadalteba gained just 0.74 cubic hectometres this week.

Respite for Axarquia

In the Axarquia, the rains have somewhat alleviated the dire situation of La Viñuela. It gained 2.7 cubic hectometres, totalling 15.84 but it is still below 10% of its capacity.

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