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La Gomera dams are at 35 percent of their capacity PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 10 May 2009 16:02

La Gomera does not record heavy rainfalls in almost a year and a half and this shortage reduces to 35 percent the average of water stored in the dams on the island, as reported by the president of the Island Council, Casimiro Curbelo, after obtaining data from the Island Water Council and clearing out that this figure amounts to some 2 million cubic litres of water.

Curbelo indicates that the available resources are only about a half of the previous years, when all the deposits of La Gomera exceeded 3,5 million cubic meters and more than 60 percent of average capacity, and adds that the current water level is 10 percent less than it was at the beginning of the year, when water came to 45 percent of the capacity of the dams.

"However, there is a sufficient quantity to ensure the irrigation of crops this summer", tinges the president of the Island Council of La Gomera before emphasizing that, despite everything, this reality requires more than ever to optimize to the maximum the use of water. Mr. Curbelo comments that the tendency to drought suffered in recent months has to be changed, in order to add autumn rainfall and maintain the water supplies of which depends the survival of the countryside of La Gomera.

He points out that the quantities stored in large dams reach 60 percent of the capacity of Amalahuigue reservoir in Agulo, but barely 20 percent in the 3 deposits located in San Sebastián de La Gomera, which have benefited from the flow of the Ipalán gallery currently unfit to incorporate to the urban grid.

"This data is not particularly negative if we bear in mind that we face a year in which it virtually has not rained", says the maximum insular representative before explaining that La Gomera has an extensive network of dams distributed by the island geography, which allows to store considerable amount of water. Anyhow he stresses the need for extreme precautions and to avoid any wastage in these summer months, coinciding with the hottest period of the year.

The insular president recalls that on La Gomera there are a total of 32 dams and 2 reservoirs, whose maintenance and management is a responsibility of the Island Water Council together with communities of irrigators, and whose total storage capacity is of approximately 5,5 million cubic litres. The largest dams on La Gomera are Amalahuigue in Agulo exceeding one million cubic metres of water, La Encantadora in Vallehermoso with a capacity of 750 thousand cubic meters, Mulagua in Hermigua with 700 thousand cubic meters, and Chejelipes in San Sebastián de La Gomera with 600 thousand cubic meters of storage capacity.

The president insists in that La Gomera, like the rest of the Canarian archipelago, has a dry climate and reiterates the importance of responsible consumption, and trusts that in the medium and long term it will be possible to speak of good prospects, which depend on the return of rainfall from October.

"The reality tomorrow could be very different from today with the arrival of the long-awaited rains, but the climatic prospects and weather warnings on climate change force us to be very, very careful with our water use", he concludes and stresses that agriculture is the ideal complement to the tourism sector of La Gomera, where the traditional landscape, characterized by terraced land for the growth of crops, is one of the main scenic attractions of the island.