Every drop counts

The rain over Easter

The rain over Easter Photo: Flickr CC / Carlos Castro

Storm Nelson which wiped out Easter celebrations and ruined many holidays at the end of March has had one benefit: much needed rain has replenished the reservoirs which supply the Costa del Sol. Between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, the reservoirs in Malaga have increased their reserves by some 25 cubic hectometres.

And this time it has rained well: with enough tenacity to be noticeable in the reservoirs and also without torrential downpours that would just wash away. It is called ‘calaera’: rain which falls gently and consistently.

The western Costa del Sol and the interior are the areas that have benefited most from these rains, with more than 50 litres accumulated in the last 48 hours at points including the Marbella treatment plant, La Viñuela and La Concepción reservoir.

La Concepcion
La Concepcion
Photo: Istan Town Hall

La Concepción reservoir had a level of almost 50 per cent at the end of Semana Santa, with a gain of 8 cubic hectometres over the Easter weekend and levels continue to rise. La Viñuela still has a long way to go before it is no longer at a near minimum but the rains from Storm Nelson have given it a boost. In just three days its reserves have increased by over 8 cubic hectometres, an increase in its level to 15 per cent.

On Easter Sunday alone, around 140 cubic hectometres in total were added to the reservoirs which supply Costa del Sol, which represents almost 23 per cent of their full capacity. The improvement is more than significant compared to the most critical moment of the drought, February 9, since when, levels have risen by 45 cubic hectometres. This corresponds to the consumption of about four months worth of water in the province of Malaga.

Is it still not enough?

Despite this, the deficit is still large, by comparison with the average of the last 10 years. The average volume of water stored in reservoirs over the last decade at the current date was around 380 cubic hectometres. In other words, 240 cubic hectometres more than what is currently accumulated.

It remains to be seen whether the drought commission, at its next meeting, will vote to ease restrictions, maintain them or even bring in further measures. Despite the rainfall, the current levels in the reservoirs obliges the authorities to maintain a high level of prudence and control over the existing water. In fact, with summer just around the corner, unless there are repeated wet weather episodes like the one experienced over Easter, the application of more restrictive measures than those agreed to date cannot be ruled out.

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Written by

Kevin Fraser Park

Kevin was born in Scotland and worked in marketing, running his own businesses in UK, Italy and, for the last 8 years, here in Spain. He moved to the Costa del Sol in 2016 working initially in real estate. He has a passion for literature and particularly the English language which is how he got into writing.

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