• Spain's news in English
 

Mega dry spell Spain's worst in 150 years

Published: 19 May 2014 10:37 GMT+02:00

The last eight months have been brutally dry for large swathes of southern and eastern Spain.

While huge storms buffeted Spain's Atlantic coasts and the Canary Islands during the winter and spring, Valencia and Alicante, as well as areas including Murcia, parts of Albacete province, and the Andalusian provinces of Jaén, Almería, Cadíz and Málaga have all been starved of rain.   

In the last 150 years, there has never been "such a long and intense drought", according to the country's meteorological agency Aemet.

Indeed there are parts of the country where during "the second worst period of drought on record there was twice as much rain as now", meteorologist José Antonio Maldonado told Spanish free daily 20 minutos.  

Don't miss stories about Spain, join The Local on Facebook and Twitter.

Rainfall levels in many areas have been less than half of those seen from 1971 to 2000, while some places have seen less than 25 percent of those levels. 

Most dams are still at somewhere between 74 percent and 90 percent of capacity thanks to rains from earlier years, but some farmers are already struggling to water their crops, or have gone out of business.

Spain is also facing an uncertain water future: a 2013 study by the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) looking at the period from 1945 to 2005 found the country's droughts were becoming more intense and more regular. 

The Local (news@thelocal.es)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Tennis
Rafa Nadal leads revolt against tennis federation
Nadal after winning the ATP Mercedes Cup title in Stuttgart, Germany, June 14th. Photo: Thomas Kienzle / AFP

Rafa Nadal leads revolt against tennis federation

Spanish tennis ace Rafael Nadal has lashed out against the president of the nation's tennis federation, calling his leadership "chaotic" in an open letter. READ  

The Local list
Eight savings made by Madrid mayor Manuela
On her first day of work as Madrid's mayor Manuela Carmena took the metro. Photo: Dani Pozo/AFP

Eight savings made by Madrid mayor Manuela

In Spain political office has become inextricably linked to privilege, but Madrid's new mayor has shown she is prepared to make the odd personal sacrifice to stay true to her campaign promises. READ  

500 million year old fossil discovered in Salamanca
Photo: The Wonderful Paleo Art of Heinrich Harder / Wikimedia Commons.

500 million year old fossil discovered in Salamanca

A team of Spanish paleontologists have discovered a trilobite fossil that they believe could be the oldest in the world. READ  

Tunisia terrorist attack
Spanish hotel claims police too slow to arrive
Tourists mourn at the site of the beach attack. Photo:KenzoTrinouillard / AFP

Spanish hotel claims police too slow to arrive

The Spanish hotel chain that was the site of the attack in which 38 tourists were gunned down last Friday has claimed that authorities were too slow responding. READ  

Spain on alert as nation swelters in 44C heatwave
Temperatures across Spain will exceed 40C this week. Photo: Shutterstock

Spain on alert as nation swelters in 44C heatwave

Temperatures are soaring across Spain with highs of 44C expected while nearly all of the country has been put on alert for extreme heat. READ  

Spain celebrates ten years of gay marriage
Spain legalized gay marriage 10 years ago this week. Photo: Ludovic Bertron/Wikimedia

Spain celebrates ten years of gay marriage

As the US supreme court makes same-sex marriage a right nationwide, Spain, which led the way for gay-rights, celebrates 10 years of same-sex marriage. READ  

No fatties or tattoos for Game of Thrones extras
Extras from Game of Thrones during filming last year in Andalusia. Photo: AFP

No fatties or tattoos for Game of Thrones extras

Dozens of hopefuls camped out overnight in an attempt to be chosen as an extra when scenes of the hit series Game of Throne are filmed in Girona in September. READ  

Greece crisis
Spanish bonds tumble amid contagion concern
Spanish borrowing costs soared on Monday amid fears over the Greek crisis. Photo: AFP

Spanish bonds tumble amid contagion concern

Spain's borrowing costs on international bond markets soared at the start of trading on Monday amid fears of contagion over the Greek crisis. READ  

Tunisia terrorist attack
Six in 'serious condition' confirm Spanish hotel
Tourists take photos at the site of Friday's shooting. Photo: Fethi Belaid/AFP

Six in 'serious condition' confirm Spanish hotel

Six people remained in "serious condition" in hospital on Sunday two days after a mass shooting at a beachside hotel in Tunisia that left 38 people dead, the hotel's Spanish management said. READ  

Unvaccinated boy dies from diptheria in Spain
Electron microscope image of the bacterium that causes diphtheria. Photo: Sanofi Pasteur / Flickr

Unvaccinated boy dies from diptheria in Spain

A six-year-old boy from Catalonia, whose parents chose not to have him vaccinated has died, almost a month after he became the first child to contract diphtheria in Spain in almost thirty years. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Travel
What's on in Spain: July 2015
National
Woof! The top ten dog-friendly beaches in Spain
Travel
Top ten tricks to survive the Spanish summer
National
Driver fined €80 for biting fingernails at the wheel
National
Castle for sale, one-time pad of mad queen, €15 million
National
And the most beautiful plaza in Spain is...?
Politics
Spanish mayor's rogue little toes go viral
Top that! Italy snatches pizza title from Spain
National
Diphtheria is 'Russian roulette with real bullets'
Bupa
Sponsored Article
Healthcare: 9 questions every expat should ask
Politics
French PM takes flak for taking his kids on state jet to footy final
National
Spain's little 'prince' shamed for racist rant
National
Spain world's second best for work-life balance
Travel
Barcelona most bike-friendly city on the Med
National
British expat fury over EU referendum snub
Politics
Madrid goes mad for radical mayor Manuela
10 super Spanish drinks everyone should try
National
Are these Spain's ten most powerful women?
National
Horse deaths reveal dark side of Rocio pilgrimage
Travel
Six of the best gourmet burger joints in Madrid
Travel
The ten best places for foodies in Barcelona
Education
7 reasons for Spain's newfound love of English
Features
7 reasons why Spain's the best place on earth
National
The perks and quirks of having a baby in Spain
National
Iceland revokes order to 'kill Basques on sight'
National
Five reasons why it’s good to be gay in Spain
National
Job creation? The truth behind Spain's figures
National
Spain among ten best countries to be a mum
National
The ten greatest things about Spain (in the UK)
National
British expats fall victim to NHS clampdown
Features
Top ten: Madrid's best rooftop bars
Travel
Benidorm: Cultural wonder of the world?
National
King Juan Carlos led 'double-life' with lover
Features
Ten best UNESCO world heritage sites in Spain
Features
Happy book day! Top ten Spanish literary gifts
Features
All the fun of the fair: Seville's Feria de Abril
National
Off with her hair! Queen Letizia debuts new do
National
Barcelona bans tourists from famous market
National
Rockers pen 'We don't love Ryanair' ballad
Travel
Location tours start for 'Game of Thrones' fans
National
Top ten things to do in Castellón
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,359
jobs available