The reservoirs in the Campo de Gibraltar have increasingly less water reserves, and the shadow of future restrictions is becoming darker, as not even the first rains of autumn, many of them in the form of storms, have been enough to replenish their volume. The rains that surprised the residents of Campo de Gibraltar on Tuesday morning haven't contributed much either.
Currently, the Guadarranque reservoir, the largest in Campo de Gibraltar with a capacity of over 83.15 cubic hectometers, is at 31% with 25.86 cubic hectometers. Charco Redondo, with just 13.84 cubic hectometers, shows an even worse figure, occupying only 17.48% of its 79 cubic hectometers capacity. These figures are significantly lower than those recorded just a year ago by the Hidrosur network, with 26 cubic hectometers in Charco Redondo and 36.6 cubic hectometers in Guadarranque.
The evolution of the dams has been negative compared to the period before the storms Alain and Bernard, which caused damage in the form of fallen branches and other wind and storm-related damages. Before their arrival, the water levels exceeded 44 cubic hectometers. Currently, it doesn't even reach 40.
This situation not only affects Campo de Gibraltar, as the rest of the reservoirs in the province are in a state equal or worse than those in the region. In total, there are 282 cubic hectometers stored in Cádiz, only 15.5% of the total. A year ago, this figure was 442. The one with the most water accumulated is the Guadalcacín reservoir in Jerez, with 134.9 out of its 800 cubic hectometers capacity.
Restrictions on water use are looming on the horizon. The manager of the public company Arcgisa, José Manuel Alcántara, already warned last October about the critical situation regarding water reserves in the region. According to his explanations, an emergency level is understood when the accumulated volume between Charco Redondo and Guadarranque is less than 41.5 hm3. Currently, it stands at 39.7 cubic hectometers, below the specified threshold, making the specter of restrictions more real than ever.
At the drought table held at the Arcgisa headquarters, where municipalities, industries, environmental groups, and all stakeholders related to water consumption are represented, it was agreed as a strong initial measure, once the emergency threshold is exceeded, to implement service interruptions during certain time slots. As a first step, and with the goal of reducing consumption by 20%, they would start by turning off the tap at night, the time of day that might least affect the residents. This would take effect after the Christmas holidays.
However, this is only the first measure. According to Alcántara's statements before the October drought table, once the service cut measure is activated, the drought table will reconvene, and new options will be agreed upon to address this challenging situation faced by Campo de Gibraltar.
Meanwhile, the Andalusian Government Council has taken note of the report on the evolution of the drought situation in Andalusia, indicating that in the seven days preceding the report, dated December 11, there is an increase of 10 cubic hectometers of water stored in the Community, reaching 2,411 cubic hectometers, which is 20.15% of the total capacity (11,966 cubic hectometers). Compared to a year ago, there is a decrease of 371 cubic hectometers, as there were 2,782. On the other hand, in the Andalusian Mediterranean Basins, to which Charco Redondo and Guadarranque belong, water has decreased by three cubic hectometers in the same week and is at 20.04% of its capacity, storing 231 cubic hectometers. In a year, the decrease has been 165 cubic hectometers.