The Region’s reservoirs began 2020 at 66 % of their capacity, 4 % above average

null The Region’s reservoirs began 2020 at 66 % of their capacity, 4 % above average

The Region’s reservoirs began 2020 at 66 % of their capacity, 4 % above average


The company continues to call for the responsible water use as rainfall patterns over the coming months are still unpredictable

  • Water levels in reservoirs rose almost 14 % in December alone, which also saw a drop in consumption.
  • In 2019, the people of Madrid consumed 501 cubic hectometres of water, 4.4% more than last year.

Water reserves stored in reservoirs managed by Canal de Isabel II ended 2019 at 66.2 % of their total capacity, at 624.7 hm3. That’s 4 % higher than the average recorded for these dates over the last 30 years and 9 % lower than the volume held on the same dates last year, when the reservoirs set records at around 75 % of their maximum capacity.

The year 2019 began with reservoir levels well above average in the Madrid Region, and this continued up to the end of April. After that, they began to fall until they reached just under 50% of maximum capacity, more than 8% below average, by early November.

The rains in November and December provided abundant inflows, and in December alone reservoir levels rose from 52.6 % of capacity, 6 % below average, to 4 % above average and 66.2 % of maximum capacity, with levels above the historical average.

December has been more rainy than usual: precipitation around the reservoirs has been 10% above average (97 mm compared to an average of 88), and this abundance, added to that in November, has led to very abundant inflows: 167.7 cubic hectometres of water have flowed into the Region’s reservoirs, almost double the average for the month of December.

On the other hand, water consumption in the Madrid Region increased in 2019: The people of Madrid consumed a total of 501.1 hm3 of water. That’s 4.4 % more than in 2018 when consumption of drinking water was the lowest in 20 years. In March this figure was 18% higher than a year earlier, but since August consumption in the region has been lower or similar to that in 2018, and in December 2019 the people of Madrid consumed 2.3 % less water than in the same month of the previous year.


Taking into account these figures, the outlook for the water supply situation in the Madrid Region looks good. However, rising consumption and the uncertain outlook for rainfall in the coming months year have prompted Canal de Isabel II to ask residents to collaborate by using water efficiently and responsibly: Small gestures by a large community, such as turning off the tap while you brush your teeth, taking a shower instead of a bath or using the washing machine and dishwasher only with a full load can help keep demand for this essential but limited resource sustainable.

For this reason, and within the framework of line 1 of its Strategic Plan to ensure supplies for the region’s residents, Canal de Isabel II is carrying out a programme of actions to increase awareness and to encourage residents to consume water responsibly, through its social media channels and its website. Public awareness actions and progressive tariffs have enabled Canal, with a water price 23% lower than the national average, to reduce per capita consumption by almost 30% since the last drought in 2005.

The publicly owned company is also working continuously on actions to make its distribution network more efficient, conserve drinking water supplies, such as promoting the use of reclaimed water for irrigation of green areas and industrial uses, and annual plans to renew the pipe network, which have reduced leakage by 70 %.

Canal de Isabel II was founded almost 170 years ago to supply water to the city of Madrid, and today it employs over 2800 people who work every day to serve more than 6 million people in the region. It is an innovative publicly owned company, a leader in its sector and recognised worldwide for its management of the integrated water cycle.

It operates 13 reservoirs; 78 groundwater catchments; 17,601 km of water supply and distribution network; 131 drinking water and 133 wastewater pumping stations; 15,083 km of sewage networks; 65 storm tanks; 157 waste water treatment plants; and 615 km of reclaimed water network.