Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Welcome waters

The storm filled the reservoirs but  
  rain is elusive in Alt Emporda 


Big week for the Catalans and the reservoirs serving the 5.5 million people who have their water supply based on the river system Ter-Llobregat. In just seven days rainfall the volumes have been stored have risen from 363.4 cubic hecto-metres to 413.1, ie from 59.37% to 67.49%. An increase o 13.68%. Eight more points. 

On this count, however, there is a huge exception: the reservoir of Boadella, in the river Muga. Its figures are still down one tenth, although one tenth up on the records of a week ago, that is, 14 hectometres of reserves and 22.91% of capacity. The River - territory which covers mainly the Alt Emporda - will therefore be in an exceptional state 2. 

The restrictions on water consumption continue, therefore, in force in the region.  

The increase in the storage system that form the basins of the Llobregat and Ter is 49.7 hectometres. Almost the annual expected output of the desalination plant being built in El Prat. The reserves are now at the level of last July and not far from the annual maximum that occurred in June, when they reached almost 70% of capacity. In other words, the consumption of these past four months have gone free.  The comparison with what happened exactly one year ago is even more reassuring. The Ter-Llobregat has more than twice that of water stored in November 2007. Back then, Marsh housed 198 cubic hectometres, 32.5% of capacity, and was heading toward a state of emergency, at 20%.  


The cause of this bonanza water autumn were, above all, two episodes of rain during the weekend, tirelessly recharging  Ter Llobregat. In the reservoir of Sau (in the river Ter), for example, water at a rate of 400 cubic meters per second, 150 cubic meters were registered in The Baells (in the Llobregat) and 90 cubic meters at the Llosa Cavall (in the Cardener, a tributary of the Llobregat). In the city of Girona the flow circulating in half of  the River Ter  is about 3 cubic meters per second.  

In other areas of  Catalunya, the Ebro, Ebro Hydro graphic Confederation (CHE) and the companies that operate hydroelectric dams in the Pyrenees closed their gates yesterday, after spending the entire weekend easing the swamping waters located in the headwaters of the Segre, The Noguera Ribagorçana and Pallaresa Noguera, before the major flood flow experienced by these rivers.  


In just one week, the  Pyrenean reservoirs gained 89 hectometres of water, allowing them to increase their reserves by 4.8%.  Those responsible for the regulation of wetlands remain alert however, the forecast is for further rain and the possibility that, if temperatures go up, it triggers a sudden melting of the abundant snow fall, which fell in the mountain area during the last few days. 

The delegate of the Government of the Generalitat in Alt Pirineu i Aran, Victor Orrit, admitted yesterday that local authorities are on notice, given the risk of new avenues of water. However, the margin for maneuver available to the CHE is still quite broad. Pyrenean reservoirs, which before the current episode of rainfall were around 57% of its capacity, are still at 61.52%. 

The largest increase was recorded in the basin of the Segre, where the dam of Oliana (Alt Urgell) has gained 33 cubic hecto-metres of water and of Rialb (Noguera), and others another 14 cubic hecto-metres.  All this is a consequence of the dramatic rise recorded by the river last Sunday, when the river flowed on its way through Organyà  at 112 cubic meters of water per second, a flow rate multiplied by 10 over the normal readings. 

1 comment:

  1. Good to hear that you're getting some rain in Catalunya at last! We're having plenty here too and are getting to the point where we'd quite like to see the sun again soon! I know we need it but we're not used to grey skies day after day here.