19 Jul, 2023 @ 19:00
1 min read

Junta orders emergency intervention at the La Viñuela reservoir due to historically low water levels

For the first time, the La Viñuela reservoir is below nine percent capacity, raising alarms for the Junta.

The reservoir is important to agriculture in the Axarquía region in Malaga province.

As of Tuesday, decreasing levels have created only 14.6 hectometers of storage compared to 22.2 hectometers a year ago. 

The ongoing heatwave has been a contributing factor as evaporation rates increase with the high temperatures. 

Since last year, no water could be used for irrigation for the more than 6,300 hectares of crops below the river per a decision made by the Junta.

 For three decades, this irrigation has allowed for the development of the avocado and mango food industry in the area. 

Other cuts to the local areas have been made.

 After the Junta reduced the human consumption supply by 20%, six of the 14 municipalities below the reservoir have implemented night-time water reductions.

After approving three drought orders in the past three years, the Junta is still trying to establish an emergency procedure. 

The first two focused on using regenerated water from wastewater treatment plants for irrigation, and the third centers on how to optimize water use from the reservoir.

On Tuesday, the council ordered the installation of surface pumps to be connected to the supply tank. 

This is to ensure that the water distributed to the El Trapiche water plant is of the highest possible quality since lower reservoir levels create lower water quality with the presence of organic matter. 

Due to this, all the animals that inhabit that reservoir are being relocated.

The project has a budget of €700,000 and a timeline of eight months, per a statement by the regional administration. 

It is being performed under the third drought order and carried out by the regional Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, and Rural Development with the goal of improving the water supply. 

The Andalusian president, Juanma Moreno, has said if improvements are not seen by autumn, then more drastic measures will be taken. 

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