2018 ends with lowest drinking water consumption of last 20 years in region of Madrid

Last year, residents of Madrid consumed 479.9 cubic hectometres of water, almost 5 % less than in 2017. Reservoirs in the Autonomous Community of Madrid currently store 713 hm3 of water, 13 % more than the historical average for this time of year. Canal de Isabel II, the company responsible for drinking water supply in the region, continues to call for responsible use of water, given that rainfall patterns for the coming months are unknown.

The reservoirs managed by Canal de Isabel ended 2018 at 75.6 % of total capacity with 712,8 hm3, 13 percentage points higher than the average registered for this time of year over the last 30 years and 24.7 % higher than the volume registered for this time last year, when reservoirs were at around 50 % of maximum capacity.

Moreover, 2018 was the year with the lowest drinking water consumption for the last 20 years. Consumption in December was 2.1 % lower than last year and throughout the year, 24.4 hectometres less water was consumed than in 2017, a quantity practically equivalent to the maximum capacity of the El Villar reservoir.

December of 2018 was dryer than normal: rainfall was 80 % less than the historic average (13.4 litres per square metre, compared to the average of 69 litres) and this lack of rain was reflected in reservoir inflows, which were 58 % lower than average, at just under 37 cubic hectometres.

All these indicators add up to a positive water situation in the Autonomous Community of Madrid at the close of 2018, following a start to the year with below average values and the beginning of an upturn in March. The improved water situation was helped by abundant inflows in March and April, due to heavy and continuous Spring rains, as well as more moderate water consumption in the region.

Canal de Isabel II views the reduction in consumption very positively but continues to emphasise the need for ongoing responsible and efficient use of water. Water is a scarce natural resource and precipitation patterns for the coming months are unknown.