The rain which fell across the region last month added around 17 cubic hectometres of water to reservoirs, but even so was not enough to pull the Lake Viñuela reservoir out of its state of crisis. However, water pumped from the Chillar river in Nerja has started to arrive at Viñuela.
The December rains meant that the Axarquía’s huge man-made lake received 125 litres of water per square metre (almost five inches) which increased the water level from its recent historical low to more than 10 per cent of total capacity. However, it has been estimated that a fortnight of similar heavy rainfall would be required to make a real difference.
The overall capacity in the province of Málaga following the downpours between December 14 and 16 was at 35.6 per cent, or 215.7 cubic hectometres, equivalent to about two month’s supply.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Carmen Crespo, has been in Nerja to inspect progress at the new wells on the Chillar river which began pumping water to Viñuela on November 25. These have the capacity to provide 5.2 hectometres of water per year, 1.5 hectometres of which supplies Nerja’s 21,000 residents.
The regional government has invested €2.9 million in the Chillar wells project, while the various project which it has initiated across Andalucía to combat the threat of serious water shortages are expected to contribute an additional 31 cubic hectometres for consumption and irrigation by next year.