EVEN when it rains in drought-stricken Alicante Province, underground springs are not replenished.
“The ground is so dry and it absorbs so much of the water that none reaches aquifers,” said Bruno Ballesteros, who heads the Geological and Mining Institute of Spain in the Valencia region.
“We have had more than a year of ridiculously little rainfall, with some areas receiving between 10 and 15 per cent of the normal amount,” the geologist added.
“We are in quite an extreme situation that affects agriculture in particular although inland towns and villages in the Marina Alta are also beginning to experience problems,” he warned.
These depend almost exclusively on underground water and it is necessary to drill deeper as levels drop. The Bullent and Molinell rivers that feed the northern and southern areas of Pego-Oliva marsh respectively are practically motionless with little flow, Ballesteros said.
Although Alicante Province has been so badly-hit by the drought, its infrastructure, desalination plants and transfers from the Taibilla canals provide a safety net for its water supply, he made clear.