This little island of Gran Canaria boasts the highest number of dams and reservoirs per capita anywhere in the world and over the last 3 days of rainstorms last week they managed to collect an extra seven million cubic meters of water, in addition to that already collected in the week prior, to total more than 25.8 million cubic meters now stored, enough to ensure almost three years of agricultural irrigation.
The archipelago’s largest dam of all, Soria, with a capacity of 32 million cubic meters, was almost dry at just 0.1% capacity holding only 32,420 cubic meters, but these much needed rains filled it to 11% with the first two weather fronts followed by the tail end of Atlantic storm Emma adding a further 2.2 million m3 bringing it to a record 17% standing at depths of more than 50m, for use by the farmers of the south who have suffered several years of drought.
The average stored water for the hundred or so smaller reservoirs is now 75%, with four having completely filled -Gambuesa (which overflowed into Ayagaures), El Mulato, Siberio and Las Hoyas-, as well as Vaquero having achieved 92% and Candelaria exceeding 80%, Caidero de las Niñas (into which Siberio overflowed) and Parralillo. Sorrueda in the Tirajana valley took 1.2 million cubic meters and then last weekend 300,000 cubic meters more, so is now at half of its capacity.
The average capacity of the 68 or so bigger reservoirs is around 50% having collected more than 20million cubic meters to add to their balance prior to the storms of 4.8 million, resulting in a total volume of 25.8 million cubic meters now collected in the reservoirs and storage facilities on this little island.
The rains have left a tremendously positive outlook for the farmers who have finally found relief after years of uncertainty brought about by drought and dwindling water resources, and they have been joined by the public resources managers of all the administrations who have struggled to ensure adequate availability and supply for all both north and particularly in the south, be it the Cabildo or the town councils affected in each case. They are all to be congratulated and thanked having done such a great job at surviving through very hard times.
The Las Niñas dam accumulated the most water, at almost 3.8 million cubic meters. It went from 50 to 73 % of its capacity in just five days.
Chira currently has almost two million cubic meters after receiving 1.5 million in total and more than 500,000 since last Thursday. It already stands at a height of 20 meters and is at 34% of its capacity, when only a few days earlier was at 24% and a week ago just 10%.
Gambuesa is totally full after having gained one million cubic meters to total 1.3 million at a depth of 42 meters. Seven days ago it was only 27%, rising to 87% on March 1.
After the overflow of Gambuesa last weekend, the Ayaugares dam has too begun to receive water holding 500,000 cubic meters. It has gone from 1 to 27% and reached 25 meters in depth.
Candelaria has reached 86% of its capacity and is currently at 340,000 cubic meters and almost 24 meters deep after receiving around 200,0000 cubic meters in recent days.
One of the dams that has completely changed its appearance Fataga, since only a week ago it was at 2% of its capacity and has gone to 71% after receiving almost 100,000 cubic meters more since March 1.
Vaquero dam is at the limit of the overflow Having increased its capacity by 20 % from Thursday, going from 72 to 92 % and reaching 34 meters depth.
And the Mulato dam, overlooking the head of the Mogán valley, also overflowed during the recent rains, having doubled the water stored in just seven days then increased 27 percent more from March 1. It now holds 760,000 cubic meters of water and has reached a depth of 35 meters.
All in all those few days of dark skies and wet weather have transformed and rejuvenated the island as it heads for a glorious spring, leaving grateful farmers once more able to plan for the future and with luck some bumper harvests ahead.