Juan Garcia R. Within the problem of water in Spain.
Alicante , Spain , 2/06/2008 .
The problem of water in Spain is not only build reservoirs, transfers and desalination, but also make efficient management of available water resources. The annual natural water resources of Spain are made up of the amount of surface and underground water resources, regulated and unregulated, are valued at 111000 hm3 of water, of which 20% corresponds to the environmental reserve with a value of 22000 hm3, from which it follows that there is a potential pool of water 89000 hm3, primarily for use in irrigation, human and animal consumption, industry, utilities, tourism and the production of electricity.
Among users highlighted the agricultural sector which requires about 75% of total water demand. The capacity of reservoirs in Spain is 54308 hm3, with a current volume of water reservoirs 33671 hm3, which represents 62% of the capacity of the reservoir. Groundwater extraction is considerate around 6500 hm3. The result shows that Spain still has own natural surface water and groundwater that can be regulated to meet the water demand of users.
The balance of water resources in river basins, states that some have more water available than others and they are subject to varying degrees of exploitation. Characterize the basins of the Mediterranean area as deficient because it requires a greater demand for water that the water resources at their disposal, currently the volume of water reservoirs in the region is 1778 hm3, representing only 3.2% capacity of reservoirs in the country.
The watershed of Northern Spain and the Continental have more availability of water basins themselves from the Mediterranean area, though with a rainfall so variables within the same basin that there are regions with water shortages and surpluses, hence the need to build more reservoirs to regulate even more runoff from rivers, increasing water reserves available and combat flooding and make transfers within a basin and inter-basin deficit.
With regard to groundwater aquifers can be seen that there is little exploitation as those for the Ebro basin, Duero and Guadalquivir, as well as greater use of groundwater as in the basins of Jucar, Segura and the Guadiana . There must be a stricter control of groundwater, because there are groundwater basins that are very exploited and threatened on the future of the region by the potential of some aquifers and salinization of soils in agricultural areas irrigated by water usage with high salt content.
In solving the problem of water in Spain is necessary to establish a water policy that will work simultaneously and prioritized in the hydraulic constructions, the rational use of water, irrigation, flood control, operation and maintenance of water sources and the channel, water supply in cities, control of water quality, aquifer recharge, energy saving, protection of watersheds. It has made great efforts in modernizing systems, wastewater reuse, maintenance of water distribution networks and desalination of seawater, but much remains to be done.
A fundamental premise underlying the problem of water in Spain is that the state must distribute water resources according to user needs, developing country perspective, the possibility of watersheds and must ensure the rational use of water As this in a common asset of the Spanish people, the autonomous communities should manage water resources allocated and ensure a proper exploitation of them.
Water is essential for sustainable development of humanity and Spain , since an essential resource for life and a more stable food production for the citizens and with lower cost per ton produced, but investigations scientists in Spain on water, irrigation, drainage and to the rational use of water resources, food production in irrigated conditions are inadequate, it is necessary to create more technical and scientific institutions that respond more widely accepted water policy the country and to cope with more precision to water problems in the present and future.