Water & Irrigation
Juan G. R. Drought in Spain, its effects at the beginning of summer 2017.
Water and Irrigation Vol .: 8, No. 1: 5-6, June 2017, Spain.
The current volume of water in Spain is 31326 hm3, which represents only 56% of the capacity of the reservoirs. The rivers of the large basins are affected by drought and in all, the reservoir water are below the last 10 years. The lack of rains is prolonged and the drought is prolonged, economic losses are already manifest in large areas of Spain, especially in Castile and Leon, Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, Canarias, some areas of Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura, Aragon , The Valencian Community, Murcia and Andalusia, in different river basins of the Spanish rivers, reason why it is necessary an adequate management of the reserves of surface waters and underground and a rational management of the water of the irrigation to face the campaign of summer and the next irrigation campaign.
The Union of Small Farmers and Cattlemen has described as very serious drought that already suffers in April large areas of Spain, especially Castile and Leon, Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, Canaries and some areas of Castilla-La Mancha and Extremadura, as has been reported The agrarian organization in a statement. The organization has pointed out that losses due to excessive heat and lack of rainfall are already millions in cereal and rape crops in the producing areas, while irrigation, forage and pasture crops are in serious danger, since the Water available is very low or even non-existent, and availability in most cases is insufficient.
UPA notes that Spain is in “hydrological drought status,” where arable crops such as barley, oats and wheat are most affected, but trees such as those produced by nuts are not developing normally either. In addition, it has warned that the situation of livestock is very worrisome because there is no pasture available and the herdsmen must feed the cattle with feed.
The sharp drop in temperatures in the Ribera del Duero in the last days of April worries winemakers and wine growers of this denomination of wine origin, which are effects of frost, with up to -5 degrees, on plants that are beginning to sprout.
The general secretary of the agrarian organization UAGA has warned in May that the next winter grain crop is lost on the right bank of the river Ebro as a result of the drought. Harvest forecasts in Aragón are estimated at 1,159,000 tonnes, 36 percent of the harvest that was harvested in 2016, the lowest figure in the last 15 years.
The first heat wave of 2017 will begin in June this Thursday and last at least until Sunday, after several days with “high temperature episode” in much of the Peninsula, according to the State Meteorological Agency, weather conditions Are marked by an “intense insolation” that favors the overheating of the mass of air that is located and parked on the interior of the Peninsula. It is stressed that the maximum temperatures will reach 40 degrees Celsius and the minimum temperatures will not fall below 20 Celsius at night. These values will be exceeded in the Tajo, Guadiana and Guadalquivir basins where they will be even more extreme, with high probability the maximum will exceed 42 º C and the minimum will not fall by 25 º C, which reflects that during the next summer the effects of The drought will be even greater.
The capacity of the reservoirs of Spain is 55973 hm3, with a current volume of water stored 31326 hm3, which represents only 56% of the capacity of the reservoirs. The rivers of the large basins are affected by drought and in all reservoir water is below the last 10 years, with reservoir capacity values of 5686 hm3-76% and 5319 hm3-57% for the basin The Ebro river and the Guadiana river respectively. The large basins of the Tajo, Guadalquivir and Duero rivers are even more affected by a volume of 5587 hm3-51%, 4056hm3-50% and 3794 hm3- 51% respectively.
The basins of the rivers Júcar 1247hm3 -37% and Segura 357 hm3-31% as well as the Mediterranean Andaluza 553 Hm3 and the internal Catalonia 580 hm3 all in the Mediterranean Zone are below the average in the last 10 years according to the State data of the Spanish reservoirs.
The lack of rains continue and the drought is prolonged, the economic losses are already manifested so it is necessary an adequate management of the reserves of surface and underground waters and a rational water management of the irrigation to face the campaign of summer and the next irrigation campaign.