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La Concepción reservoir. Salvador Salas
Drought crisis

Weekend rain gives much-needed boost to drought-stricken reservoirs which serve Malaga and Costa del Sol

Experts expect three weeks of runoff, hence the extra 2.5 cubic hectometres collected at La Concepción, could add up to between 6 and 8hm³, which is equivalent to two months of consumption on the western strip of the coast

Chus Heredia

Malaga

Monday, 11 March 2024

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The best rains in two years fell across Malaga province at the weekend, according to local weather experts, easing the drought situation, at least temporarily.

As a result of the heavy rain on Friday and Saturday, some 9 cubic hectometres were expected to be collected in the reservoirs in just two days with the La Concepción, La Viñuela, El Conde and Guadalhorce showing the best gains, each around cubic hectometres. However, the Guadalteba recorded just 0.25hm³ extra. In total, the reservoirs currently store 106hm³ and exceed 17% of their combined capacity.

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Malaga meteorology expert José Luis Escudero, author of the SUR blog 'Tormentas y Rayos' (Storms and Lightning), said it was the best rainfall in two years, since March 2022. However, he pointed out the rain was not as equally distributed throughout the province two years ago as it was last weekend. "Three more episodes like this one and the drought will be over," he confidently predicted.

Experts have said the numbers will increase significantly with runoff for 2 or 3 weeks even if it does not rain anymore. For example, the calculation that the technicians make at La Concepción, with the 60mm of rainfall collected in the reservoir plus Sunday runoff, it has gained 2.5 cubic hectometers over the weekend. The projection is that in three weeks it will translate to a gain of between 6 and 8 cubic hectometres.

Costa del Sol, Serranía de Ronda and Ardales

At the weekend, the tail end of La Concepción reservoir in Istán, which supplies water to much of the western strip of the Costa del Sol, the flow of the Verde river continuously fed into the reservoir Meanwhile, at the nearby Guadaiza overflow dam in Benahavís, photographs also showed a large amount of water flowing into it.

Photograph gallery

In the Serranía de Ronda, at one of the sources of the Genal river in Igualeja, water overflowed. In November barely a trickle came out of this spring. In nearby Jubrique, the river had a depth of 0.64 metres and a flow of 14.42 cubic metres per second.

The Turón river, which flows into the Conde de Guadalhorce reservoir, which reached its historic low in autumn, was running fast and 8 cubic metres (8,000 litres) per second was recorded in Ardales.

At the moment, no more rain is forecast in Malaga province until Wednesday.

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