La Viñuela reservoir in the Axarquía is almost empty. Eugenio Cabezas
Recent rains deposit up to 40mm in Malaga, but water levels in the reservoirs continue to drop
Drought crisis

Recent rains deposit up to 40mm in Malaga, but water levels in the reservoirs continue to drop

Since the start of January there have been two days of rain in the province, but it's too little to alleviate the drought

Ignacio Lillo


Wednesday, 10 January 2024, 12:10

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As is almost always the case when talking about liquids, the glass is either half full or half empty. On the bright side, it seems that the curse has finally been broken and the much-needed rains are starting to arrive in Malaga. On the downside, for the moment they are too scarce to alleviate years of chronic drought. As a result, the water levels in the province's reservoirs have continued to fall in the last week.

As Spain's state weather agency (Aemet) correctly predicted, during the first ten days of the year, January is developing according to what is normal, that is rainfall with a historical average of 69mm measured at Malaga Airport (there should be more in inland areas). But, at the moment, there are no indications to alter this "normal" pattern of rainfall, which is what is really needed.

The analysis of what happens this January, which SUR is closely monitoring, is key to gauging the effects of the water shortage during the coming summer. So far, the two best months of rainfall of the year have already been lost (November and December, both in the region of 100mm), and only this month, February (60mm) and March (52mm) remain to try to alleviate the situation. For the moment, the results are rather meagre.

Yesterday, Tuesday 9 January, saw a maximum accumulated rainfall of 23.7mm in Alfarnatejo, in the upper Axarquia, according to data provided by the Junta de Andalucía's Hidrosur network. It was followed by Los Reales (18mm), Bobadilla (13) and Archidona (12). The La Concepción reservoir, which supplies the Costa del Sol, received 10mm; and the Guadalteba reservoir, 6mm.

Accumulated in January

In terms of accumulated rainfall since the start of the year 2024, Alfarnatejo stands out with 43mm, according to data that SUR meteorologist José Luis Escudero has collected from the Red Hidrosur, Aemet and the amateur network Meteoclimatic, for his blog Tormentas y Rayos (Storms and Lightning). There is also data that gives some hope in Los Reales de Sierra Bermeja (29mm); Guadalhorce river, Archidona (27); Cortes de la Frontera (22); the Genal river, as it passes through Jubrique and Pujerra (18).

There should also be some improvement, albeit slight, in several areas of great interest for supply or for their ecological value, such as La Concepción reservoir, with 19mm over the last ten days; El Torcal (23); Casasola and El Limonero reservoirs (both around 10); Fuente Piedra lagoon (17); Guadalteba reservoir (14) and that of La Viñuela (12) and the river Turón, in Ardales (19). At Malaga Airport, which is the official Aemet rain gauge for statistical purposes, it was just under 9 l/m2.

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