The hydrological year began with reservoirs 8 points above average, at 68 % of their capacity

null The hydrological year began with reservoirs 8 points above average, at 68 % of their capacity

The hydrological year began with reservoirs 8 points above average, at 68 % of their capacity


The residents of Madrid consumed 488.5 cubic hectometres of water over the last 12 months: it is the second lowest figure in the last 20 years

  • Drinking water consumption fell by 2.5 % compared to that recorded in hydrological year 2018-2019

  • Contributions from rivers were twice those recorded in the previous year, and close to the average for the historical series

  • Canal manages 13 reservoirs to supply more than 6 million Madrid residents, who rate their service 8.64 out of 10

01OCT2020- The water reserves of Madrid Region started the new hydrological year with values 8 % higher than the average recorded over the last 30 years. Reservoirs are currently at 68 % of their maximum capacity, a volume almost 16 points higher than that recorded on the same dates a year ago. Despite the good hydrological situation going into the new hydrological year, the state-owned company insists on the importance of efficient and respectful consumption of the resource.

The hydrological year, which studies the state of the hydrographic basins, begins on 1 October each year. Rivers and their development are measured by taking this payment into account, which seeks to adapt to their system: during the months of July, August and September, rivers reach their low water level (minimum flow rates), hence it is in October that the flow rate they normally reach begins to rise, when the hydrological year begins.

Thus, Canal de Isabel II’s reservoirs ended the last hydrological year at 68 % of their capacity, with 641.1 cubic hectometres stored. These figures, which are above average for 1 October (which is 60 % of the maximum capacity) ended a year marked by rainfall and contributions that were about the average, but well above the data from the previous hydrological year.

The contribution from the rivers to Madrid Region’s supply system during the hydrological year 2019-2020 was 650.4 cubic hectometres: this figure is twice the 322 recorded in the previous hydrological year, though it is lower than the average of 757. In the historical series recorded by Canal de Isabel II, since 1913, there have been 44 years with lesser contributions than the one that has just ended, and 62 with greater contributions. The datum recorded in December stands out in comparison with the previous hydrological year: while, in that month in 2018, we collected 36.8 cubic hectometres in the reservoirs, the contribution in the same month in 2019 was 167.7 cubic hectometres, whereas the average value for December is 87.7 cubic hectometres: that is, the contributions for that month were 4.5 times those of the previous year and twice the average. In fact, 20 December 2019 was the day with the greatest contributions to the reservoirs: on that one day, 23.1 cubic hectometres reached them, a volume equivalent to the maximum capacity of the El Villar or La Aceña reservoir.

As regards water consumption in the region in this hydrological year, it was 2.5 % lower than in the previous period. The day with the greatest consumption was 1 July 2020, while the day with the lowest consumption was 1 January: usually, the date with the lowest consumption of the year is Easter, but the declaration of the state of alarm, during which consumption in Madrid Region fell by 8 %, altered this datum. In total, in the whole hydrological year, Madrid residents consumed 488.5 cubic hectometres of water: over the last 20 years, the only lower figure recorded was during hydrological year 2017-2018.


In Madrid Region, to supply drinking water supply to more than 6 million people, Canal has 2,800 employees who manage, among other facilities, 13 reservoirs with a total storage capacity of 943.55 cubic hectometres of water; 78 groundwater catchments; 14 drinking water treatment stations; 17,651 kilometers of adduction and distribution network; 131 drinking water pumping stations and more than 300 regulating tanks.

According to data gathered by the state-owned company of Madrid Region in the first half of 2020, users give the company an average rating of 8.64 out of 10, making the service provided by Canal the best-rated among home suppliers.


Indeed, efficient and responsible use of water in Madrid Region is part of line 1 of the Canal de Isabel II Strategic Plan until 2030, which is concerned with guaranteeing supply.

This line, entitled “Ensuring guarantee of supply”, will allow Canal to maintain the current guarantee level in climate change scenarios, even if there are sustained population increases. Its star plan is the -25 Plan, which commits to reducing the volume of derived water for consumption per resident by 25 % in 2030.

To do so, the state-owned company develops plans and actions intended to improve its efficiency and preserve the resources available to supply the population. They include the extension of the reclaimed water supply, which, throughout 2019, made it possible to preserve more than 16 cubic hectometres of drinking water. On the other hand, 70 % the volume of losses on diverted water could be reduced thanks to the investment in renovating its pipe network and systematic campaigns to detect leaks.

Citizen awareness-raising actions and progressive fees have allowed Canal, with a water price that is 23 % lower than the Spanish average, to reduce per capita consumption by almost 30 % since the last drought of 2005. In this regard, the company recalls that small daily actions to save water are very useful, such as turning off the tap while brushing your teeth, showering instead of bathing, or using the washing machine and dishwasher on a full load. All these tips are available at

Canal de Isabel II is the state-owned company responsible for the integrated water cycle in Madrid Region. It was founded almost 170 years ago to supply water to the city of Madrid and today its more than 2,800 employees work daily to serve more than 6 million people throughout the region. It is an innovative company, a leader in its sector and internationally recognised for its management of all phases of the integrated water cycle: collection, adduction, treatment, distribution, drainage, purification and reuse.