Feb 02, 2007
SPAIN is suffering its WORST DROUGHT EVER. Its been three years of drought now. Two months of Atlantic storms in October and November have brought only partial relief and the two big reservoirs at the head of the Tagus are only 12 percent full. The Tagus has to supply an urban population of 7 to 8 million people in Madrid and the surrounding area, provide irrigation for 300,000 hectares (750,000 acres) of maize and pasture and cool two nuclear power stations. It then has to deliver a specified quantity and quality of water at the border with Portugal, as set out in a treaty on shared rivers. "The storms and rain were VERY ABNORMAL this year. In the lower parts of the river basin it rained quite a lot but in the upper part it rained very little." The year from October 2004 to September 2005 was the driest at least since records began in the 1940s. Rain in 2005/6 was 11 percent below average and 2006/7 is proving erratic.