Space pictures show how Spanish reservoirs are shrinking

Space pictures show how Spanish reservoirs are shrinking
Copyright Copernicus/Sentinel
By Rafael CerecedaMarta Rodriguez
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Spanish reservoirs are having a hard time staying completely full. Despite the heavy rainfall in March, the reservoirs are only at 53% of their capacity.


Spanish reservoirs are struggling to reach full capacity amid a chronic water shortage. The latest satellite pictures show how Spanish reservoirs have dramatically decreased in size over the years.

Thanks to images acquired by the Sentinel 2 satellite from the EU Earth observation programme Copernicus, Euronews was able to visualise how Spanish reservoirs have recovered some of their volume with the latest rainfall but they remain nowhere near full capacity.

The Alcantara reservoir near the Portuguese border has been replenished thanks to the torrential rains.

Copernicus, Sentinel
The Alcantara reservoir on March 21, 2018Copernicus, Sentinel
Copernicus, Sentinel
The Alcantara reservoir a month beforeCopernicus, Sentinel

The rise of water levels in Spanish reservoirs throughout March sees them currently just over half full (53,7%), according to authorities.

However, experts warned that this small victory will not be enough to address a much bigger problem.

“The drought is the result of a combination of factors,” Gonzalo Delacamara, academic director at el Foro de la Economia del Agua, an initiative started by Universidad de Alcala, told Euronews.

”The structural problem lies in the [water] shortage that becomes evident when it doesn’t rain, that’s what we should focus on.”

Delacamara adds that water governance should be improved “to provide water security in the long term, for climate change's sake.”

The water researcher talked to us from the World Water Council taking place in Brasilia, which this year’s theme is “Sharing Water.”

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