The unforeseen bonus following the deluge that struck large areas of southern Spain has been the replenishment of some of the region’s meagre water resources.
After months of no rain residents in several regions had been facing the prospect of centrally imposed restrictions on the use of water.
Representatives of the agricultural sector had warned of the dire threat to the industry in terms of crop damage and reduced earnings if the drought conditions continued.
In September this paper reported Alicante Province was enduring its worst drought for 25 years.
But figures now show the heavy rains of the past two weeks has meant the reservoirs of Charco Redondo and Guadarranque have in the space of just a few days stored the equivalent of around 60 per cent of the annual water consumption of the region.
Between Sunday December 4 and Monday morning figures show nearly 250 litres of water per square metre fell over a 24-hour period, a rate seen only once every 100 years, according to records.
In Malaga the heavy rain meant reservoir reserves were high enough to necessitate the discharge of water on Monday.
The La Concepcion dam in Istan had been at 65 per cent capacity but was boosted to more than 80 per cent and with water run-off that figure will continue to rise.
The downside has meant engineers have been repairing damaged water courses to allow the infrastructure to cope with the heaviest rains seen in nearly 30 years.
Unfortunately, the other 6 dams in the province, Casasola, Limonero, Guadalteba, Guadalhorce, Conde de Guadalhorce and La Viñuela, remain at a dangerously low 45 per cent after they collectively accumulated just two hectometres of water more than La Concepcion alone.