05 Aug The president of the CHMS reiterates the need for responsible and efficient water use
After analysing the parameters, it is concluded that the Alto and Baixo Miño are in a normal situation; pre-alert in the Upper and Lower Sil basin; and alert in the Cabe and Limia river basins.
Saving measures: avoid street washing, watering of gardens, sports fields, elimination of fountains, and even assess the need to carry out hourly water restrictions, among other measures.
The Miño-Sil Hydrographic Confederation (CHMS), an autonomous body under the Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, has held the 7th meeting of the Miño-Sil Hydrographic Confederation’s Drought Office/Technical Board, set up last February.
The rainfall recorded during the current hydrological year is 41.8% below the historical average; the reservoirs are at 51.30% of their capacity, which is 18.17% below the historical average and the circulating flows are 40.1% lower than usual for this time of year.
Once all parameters have been analysed, in accordance with the PES – Special Drought Plan -, the current scenarios are normal in both the Alto Miño and the Baixo Miño, Pre-alert in the Upper and Lower Sil basin and Alert in the Cabe and Limia river basins. It should be noted that this is the driest hydrological year in the historical series, although similar to the current one in 2002, 2005, 2011, 2012 and 2017, which shows the adverse effects of climate change.
Recommendations and measures
As general recommendations, the CHMS reminds local councils of the need for sustainable water use and the application of water-saving measures; avoiding street washing, garden irrigation, sports fields, elimination of fountains, and even urging them to assess the need to carry out hourly water restrictions, among other measures. In addition, letters will be sent to the rest of the Water Users, such as Irrigation Communities and hydroelectric companies, urging them to carry out actions to improve efficiency in the use of this resource.
In view of the Alert situation that is repeated in the rivers Cabe and Limia, the local councils will be urged to be stricter with the saving measures, restricting use to the basics, and to be more vigilant in complying with the recommendations and drafting of banns on the use of the resource, as the competent administration and manager of the supply to towns and villages.
On the other hand, and in response to queries from different municipalities in the province of Ourense and some in the south of Lugo about the problems arising in livestock farming due to lack of water for animals, they will be informed about the most efficient and quickest way to obtain a Temporary Concession, sending them the appropriate instructions and forms to be completed to act effectively and diligently in the resolution of this problem arising from the drought in which we are immersed.
“In the course of the meeting, the need to improve the areas devastated by the recent fires was also discussed, where it would be necessary to act quickly and diligently in order to avoid dragging and filtrations that would alter the quality of the water in the riverbeds and aquifers, in the interest of protecting the health of the residents and improving the environment,” explained the president.
“To avoid more extreme situations, we insist that it is necessary to make rational use of the resource, as we are facing a scenario of prolonged meteorological drought that can only be alleviated with the joint collaboration of the administrations, irrigators, hydroelectric companies and citizens in general”, stressed Quiroga.
“To conclude, and bearing in mind that medium-term forecasts predict that the drought situation will continue over the coming months, it is essential, in addition to the adoption of measures, to raise awareness among the population from the local administration, the closest to the citizen and competent in terms of supply, of the rational and responsible use of WATER, reminding them that we are dealing with a limited, necessary resource that depends on climatic conditions”, concluded the president of the CHMS.