Wrong type of rain

LAST UPDATED: 17 Oct, 2008 @ 17:05
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Reservoir levels have actually dropped, as recent downpours have been too few and heavy

WHILE the recent rainfall has been well received across the region for gardeners and farmers, environment bosses are not so sure.

Despite receiving up to 100 litres of rainfall in some parts of Andalucia over the last fortnight, it is the wrong type of rain.

According to water board boss Antonio Rodriguez Leal there has been too little rain, coming too heavily.

“It is raining less now and of a worse quality,” said the Cuenca Mediterranea Andaluza chief. “There are less rainy days now, too much torrential rain and too little benefit to the reservoirs.”

His point was highlighted by the fact that reservoirs in Andalucia have actually gone down by 0.5 percent in a fortnight to 31 per cent full. Around 80 percent of reservoir levels are down, while at La Vinuela, in the Axarquia, levels stand at just 10 per cent. It has only received 2.7 hectometres cubed since October last year, while in an average year it gets 45.

At the end of the current hydrological year at the end of September rainfall figures are a third down on a normal year.

This means that the drought is now to go into its fifth year with rationing increasingly likely this Autumn.

A spokesman for Spain’s Met Office (Aemet) confirmed that the change in rainfall is in line with climate change.

He added that this was leaving certain parts of Malaga, such as the city and the Valle de Guadalhorce in danger of cuts.

In the towns of Almogia, Colmenar and Casabermeja tankers are already supplying water. Emergency works to ease the supply from the Torcal area south of Antequera have come under fierce opposition from locals, already suffering water shortages. (See Olive Press front page Issue 39).

Some good news is that, according to statistics, the underground aquifers at least seem to be filling up, having gone up from 13 per cent in 2007 to around 23 per cent this year.

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