A COSTLY CRISIS in Alicante Province is expected as drinking water supplies dwindle.

The lowest levels of rainfall in over five years have meant some reservoirs are a little over a quarter full, with none reaching 50% capacity

Adding to the problem is the fact that lower water levels means that desalination plants that clean the water are more in demand.

This added demand coupled with recent increases in energy costs, leads to a potential ‘perfect storm’ for drinking water supplies.

Jaime Berenguer is technical director of the Marina Baixa Water Consortium.

He described the situation to informacion.es as, “worrying.”

He admitted the only solution is for some unseasonal rainfall with Levante storms. 

Claiming, “Empty reservoirs can have a direct impact on the price of water.”

Explaining, “When the swamps are in this state, the desalination plants play a fundamental role in the supply of water.”

He continued, “Given that the price of energy has doubled or tripled [recently], it is going to be a difficult year [and] the price of water could increase by around 25%.”

Guadalest G99a7a8441 1920
GUADALEST RESERVOIR: Less than half full
IMAGE CREDIT: Pixabay

According to the Júcar Hydrographic Confederation (CHJ), Guadalest reservoir in the valley above Benidorm, is at only 41% capacity.

Further south, there is even more cause for concern, with La Pedrera reservoir only 26% full and the Crevillent reservoir at only 23%.

Murcia reservoirs are worse still, with average levels at 22% capacity.

Notably, the levels at this time last year were some 55% full, with 83% capacity in 2020.

With no major rains due before the end of February, this is already the driest winter for many years.

Although many may welcome a few dry months, that combined with higher electric prices could indirectly mean our water bills increasing almost as much as electricity.

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