Spain's Severe Drought
Sunflowers grow in a dry field in Spain during a drought. Wealthy nations are facing a water crisis mirroring the one experienced by drought-plagued poor countries, the environmental group WWF warned in a report.(AFP/File/Pedro Armestre)
Spain's Water Reserves Fall Further To 43.9 Percent
SPAIN: August 17, 2006
MADRID - Spain's reservoirs are now only 43.9 percent full, 1.4 points less than a week ago, the Environment Ministry said on Wednesday, showing that continuing drought and high temperatures were taking their toll.
Last year was the driest since records began, and the rain that fell over the winter and spring of this year was not enough to replenish reserves.
The 23,385 cubic hectometres of water now available compare with 23,866 in the same week last year and with an average for the past 10 years of 30,263 at the same date.
Regions in the south and east have the lowest reservoirs, while those in the northwest are mostly 60 to 70 percent full.
Irrigation water has been strictly rationed in parts of the country, which is likely to reduce the maize crop this year.
The power industry is also suffering from the shortage of rain. In a wet year 12 percent of Spain's electricity comes from hydroelectric plants, while in a bad year, like 2005, that fell to barely 8 percent.
Rain is forecast across the country on Thursday, but summer storms typically do little to replenish reserves.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
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This will only get worse if we continue on this road.