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Water consumption in the Community of Madrid rose by 7.6 % during the heatwave

null Water consumption in the Community of Madrid rose by 7.6 % during the heatwave

Water consumption in the Community of Madrid rose by 7.6 % during the heatwave


June ended with reservoirs at 68.5 % capacity - 7 points below the average for this time of year

  • The first half of 2019 saw the highest consumption since 2012 and figures for June were 14.8 % higher than a year ago
  • Canal de Isabel II appeals to consumers to use water responsibly during the summer months

The heatwave at the end of June saw water consumption in the Community of Madrid rise by 7.6 % with respect to the previous week. Alongside this, total demand for water recorded in June also increased by 14.% compared with the same month last year, as a result of low rainfall and high temperatures. For this reason, Canal de Isabel II has called for all consumers to cooperate in ensuring the responsible and efficient use of water, publishing recommendations for saving water on its YouTube channel and website www.canaldeisabelsegunda.es.

The volume of water held in the public company’s 13 reservoirs is at 68.5 % capacity, with 645.9 hm3. This is more than 23 points lower than the figure recorded at this time last year and 7 points below the historical average of 75.5 %.

At the same time, rainfall has been extremely scarce, with figures 96.2 % below the historical average of 32.6 litres per square metre, compared to 1.2 at the end of June this year. This lack of rainfall has meant reduced flow to the reservoirs, which have collected 79.5 % less water than the average for the 105-year historical data series used by Canal de Isabel II in its planning models for public supply.

The high temperatures and low rainfall have prompted a rise in water consumption in the Madrid region which has been increasing since February. Consumption figures recorded in the first half of 2019 are the highest since 2012, corresponding to almost 244 hm3, compared to 223 hm3 last year.

The difference in consumption between June 2018 and June 2019 is due to various factors. June 2018 was a rainy month with precipitation 36% higher than average, while temperatures were lower than average during the first half of the month. By contrast, June 2019 was both very dry and warm.

During the last four days of June, the Community of Madrid suffered a heat wave. The average temperature of 31.8 °C was 7.7 degrees higher than the average recorded during the same four days in the week before, while average daily consumption was 7.6 % higher. Between 27 and 30 June, people in Madrid consumed an average of 1.8 cubic hectometres of water per day - equivalent to 20.84 cubic metres of water per
second - compared with 1.67 hmper day consumed between 20 and 23 June.

Comparing the end of June 2019 with the same period in 2018, the difference is even greater; consumption was 10.6 % higher than a year ago, when the average temperature was just 24.5 °C.

While the water situation in the Community of Madrid is stable, the increase in consumption, combined with the arrival of the summer months and the uncertainty about rainfall patterns in the next hydrological year have led Canal de Isabel II to appeal to the public for their cooperation in the efficient and responsible use of this natural resource, since every little effort made as part of a large community can help curb this upward trend.

Because of this, within the framework of Line 1 of its Strategic Plan and to help guarantee supply to the population, Canal is implementing actions to raise public awareness about responsible water consumption through its social media and website. Over the next few weeks, an information campaign will be rolled out, focusing on these recommendations. The public water company also works on a permanent basis on actions to enable water conservation, such as boosting the usage of reclaimed water for irrigating green areas and for use in industry, and the annual plans for upgrading the water-pipe network, which has succeeded in reducing the volume of water loss by 70 %.

Canal de Isabel II was founded over 165 years ago to supply water to the city of Madrid. Its more than 2,800 employees work every day to provide services to over 6 million people in the region. An innovative company and a leader in its sector, it has gained international recognition for its integrated water management. The company operates 13 reservoirs, 78 groundwater abstraction systems, a 17,601-kilometre conveyance and distribution networ, 131 pumping stations for drinking water and 133 for waste water, 15,083 kilometres of sewer system networks, 65 storm tanks, 157 waste water treatment plants and a 615-kilometre reclaimed water network.

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