Spain could be heading for worst drought in 20 years

Totally empty: Spain´s reservoirs suffer after hottest spring on record

PREDICTIONS of an unusually hot and dry 2017 have sparked concerns about the possibility of a drought on a scale unseen since the early nineties.

With many reservoirs already well below capacity and a dry summer forecast the situation is likely to worsen.

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Having just left behind the hottest spring ever recorded in Spain in which temperatures soared to 1.5°C above average and entered into a summer which is likely to continue in this trend concerns have been raised about the state of the reservoirs and the possibility of a drought.

In May there was 23 per cent less rain than the average. The months between June and August are consistently dry months and reservoirs often have to rely on rain in spring in order to survive the summer.

As a result of this, several important water supplies in Spain are already suffering. The River Tagus is responsible for supplying multiple reservoirs, some of which are already at 49.6 per cent capacity, much lower than the 72.9 per cent recorded at the same time last year. Similarly, the second largest water supplier, the River Douro, is now at 49 per cent capacity compared with 91 per cent last year.

Some experts are warning of a repeat of the droughts which occurred in the early eighties and again in the nineties each lasting three years.

A drought on this scale should not affect the drinking supply but it is likely that measures will be set out in the near future to protect the limited availability of water.


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