Contradictions of water use in the Ebro River.

Juan G.R. Contradictions of water use in the Ebro River.

 Water and Irrigation. Vol: 6, No. 1: 6-8, March 2015, Spain.

 An extraordinary avenue has led in Spain in the Ebro River, a flow of 2,610 m3 / s. and 6 m in height, has inundated 45,000 hectares of cropland, with economic losses of 50 million euros and has forced maneuvers empty reservoirs hat were already filled with water. Meanwhile losses from drought in the southeast Spanish in 2014 in the Mediterranean area is estimated at over 400 million euros to consider joint damage reported on 200,000 ha of crops and livestock, as a result of water deficit. It is noted that there are three basins with a large deficit of water and a basin with large surplus of water and affected by the floods, it is necessary to clean the riverbeds, performing works of protection against floods and urban and agricultural flooding, build more irrigation and water work and transfer water tothe surplus collateral basins with deficit water.

It is estimated that the floods as a result of the flooding of the river Ebro have affected 28,000 hectares in Aragon, 12,000 in Navarre, 3000 in La Rioja and 1,500 in Álava, which has caused some agricultural losses estimated at about 50 million euros on a provisional balance of the Coordinator of Agricultural and Livestock Organizations (COAG), according to Spanish sources of information: The flow of the Ebro river passing through Catalonia have stabilized and have not caused serious damage, despite the high level of water after flooding the river.

An extraordinary avenue, reached in the early hours of March 2 in Zaragoza a flow of 2,610 cubic meters per second and 6.10 meters high, has forced to cut the third ring road, Ronda de Boltaña and gateway Volunteering. The height reached by the water in Zaragoza exceeded that of 2003 and was below the flood of 1961, in which the flow exceeded 4,000 cubic meters per second. Empty maneuvers will remain of reservoirs: Mequinenza, Riba-roja and Flix with an outflow of 1,800 cubic meters per second, Mequinenza Reservoir is at 102.6% capacity and Riba-roja, 99 , 2%; the Ebro River at Asco had a flow rate of 1,855 m3 / s. and in Tortosa of 1,774 m3 / s, according to the Ebro River Basin, CHE.

The Ebro basin occupies an area of 85300 km2, in which nine communities in Spain have an area within the basin: Castilla León, Castilla la Mancha, La Rioja, Cantabria, El País Vasco, Navarre, Aragon, Catalonia and Valencia, the community that occupies more area within the basin is Aragón with 42100 Km2. Water down next to the sea on the right of o river is the Valencia and on the left is Catalonia. In the same direction of Valencia, Murcia and Almeria are located; where are the Júcar, Segura and Andalusian Mediterranean basin respectively, which currently have the highest water deficit Mediterranean area of Spain.

The average total surface runoff river Ebro is 15191 hm3 and 2900 hm3 for underground channel, for a total average runoff for the Ebro basin of 18091 hm3; the capacity of reservoirs built within the Ebro basin is 7524 hm3 and the current reserves of water stored is 6177 hm3. The system of distribution of rainfall in the Ebro basin is highly variable, which causes the flow of the avenues of the Ebro river are very unstable with values up to 13000 m3 / second as was the año1907, so it is advisable make inter annual runoff regulations.

In 2014, the guarantee of water in the Valencian Community and the Murcia turned increasingly complicated, drought damaged crops in rainfed affecting both Communities plantations almonds, olives, grapes, citrus and some fruit, and the grain harvest, beekeeping and livestock also affect the final performance of some irrigated crops is considered to have been damaged more than 180,000 hectares, the economic losses are estimated at over 350 million.

The province of Almeria too located in the southeastern Spanish and belongs to Community of Andalusia, presented economic damage as a result of drought and demands that Almería requires assistance with almonds, rainfed crops and livestock, agrarian organization COAG Almería has been estimated at 40 million euros losses in agriculture due to extreme drought The economic losses from drought in the southeast Spanish in 2014, are estimated at over 400 million euros to consider joint damage reported for Valencia, Murcia and Almeria.

In 2015 the Spanish Southwest, rainfall is insufficient because the water stored with the date 03/03/2015 in the basins of Júcar, Segura and Mediterranean Andaluza 1478 respectively, 741 and 731 hm3, representing 44.3%, 64.9% and 62.1% of storage capacity in these basins, with moderate and low probability of rain respectively, considering that in Spain the average annual rainfall historic is 684 mm. In the basin Ebro River rainfall situation is different, and there have been abundant rainfall and reservoir water is 6177 hm3 which represents 82.1% of the storage capacity of the basin.

Analysis of the results presented in 4 basins shows that there are three basins with a large deficit of water and there is another basin that has a large surplus of water and is affected by floods,so is necessary: cleaning the riverbeds, performing works of flood protection and urban and agricultural floods and build more irrigation system and water conservancy, improving water management and transfer of the surplus water in the Ebro basin to side basins with water deficit.

I must not overlook that 50 years ago in March 1965, I started working as an engineer at the National Institute of Water Resources in the problem of water development and economic studies of hydraulic works and irrigation systems, later worked at the National Irrigation and Drainage Deparment in water management and irrigation systems, I taught economics at the University at the Faculty of Irrigation and Drainage, later worked as a researcher at the Research Institute of Irrigation and Drainage, performing together the tasks: research, technical assistance within the country and abroad, introducing the results of science and technology, defense of a doctorate in science in relation to water management and irrigation. I eventually studied and recommendations on the issue of water, irrigation, drainage and flooding in different countries in Europe, America, Asia, Africa and Oceania. I have developed 2 web pages. in Spanish and English for the global dissemination of results in water, irrigation, drainage and related to water pollution and climate change.

Again the economic effects of drought and floods recur, must assess the accumulated by continuous droughts and floods losses are greater than the investments required to ensure the necessary water demand, fighting floods in the agricultural areas and urban areas, basin water transfers surplus to other basins with water deficit and cleaning riverbeds and protection of cities.

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