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The Community of Madrid water reserves reach historic records in the new hydrological year

null The Community of Madrid water reserves reach historic records in the new hydrological year

The Community of Madrid water reserves reach historic records in the new hydrological year


The hydrological situation in the region is good, but Canal continues to stress the need for an efficient and responsible use of the resource

  • The reservoirs are at 76 % of their capacity, the highest in 25 years for this time of the year 
  • In the 2017-2018 hydrological year, the water consumption of the residents of Madrid dropped 2.7 % with respect to the previous year
  • Input amounted to 713 cubic hectometres, close to the historic average, after a very dry start to the year

The Community of Madrid water reserves have started the new hydrological year at record levels. The reservoirs are at 76 % of their capacity, the highest in 25 years for this time of the year, and 15 points above the historical average of Canal de Isabel II.

The hydrological year, which studies the condition of the river basins, starts on 1 October every year. The Canal de Isabel II reservoirs closed the last hydrological year at 77.6% of their capacity, with 157 cubic hectometres more than the previous year: equivalent to 30% of the water consumed by the people of Madrid in one year. In fact, since 24 August, the volume of water stored in the reservoirs is at record levels.

The input from the rivers to the Community of Madrid supply system during the 2017- 2018 hydrological year amounted to 713 cubic hectometres, a figure which is close to the historic average. It should be remembered that the start of the hydrological year was characterised by the absence of rain. However, the months of March and April saw heavy rainfall and the downward tendency of the reserves was reversed: in fact, the highest volume of input in more than 50 years was recorded in April.

With respect to water consumption in the region in this hydrological year, this was 2.7% lower than in the previous year. The decrease is even greater if we take the calendar year as a reference: in 2018, water consumption has been 4.8 % lower than in the first nine months of 2017. In the last hydrological year, the highest consumption was on 25 June, when an average of 21.3 m3/s was consumed, while the lowest was on Friday 30 March (Good Friday), with a mean consumption of 9.51 m3/s.


The efficient and responsible use of water in the Community of Madrid is part of Line 1 of the Canal de Isabel II Strategic Plan up to 2030 dedicated to guaranteeing supply.

To this purpose, the public company has developed plans and measures aimed at improving efficiency and preserving the available resources for the supply of the population. These include the increased supply of reclaimed water for public and industrial uses. In a year such as this one, this has enabled savings of almost 20 cubic hectometres of drinking water (approximately 15 days of consumption in the Community of Madrid). In addition, it has been possible to reduce the volume of losses in diverted water by 70%, thanks to investment in the renovation of the pipes and to systematic campaigns for the detection of leaks.

Citizen awareness campaigns and progressive water rates have allowed Canal, with a water rate 23% lower than the national average, to reduce the per capita consumption by almost 30% since the last drought in 2005. In this respect, the company highlights that small everyday gestures to save water are of great importance. These include turning off the tap while brushing your teeth, having a shower instead of a bath or
using the washing machine or dishwasher only when it is fully loaded. All these tips are available at www.canaldeisabelsegunda.es.

Canal de Isabel II was founded more than 165 years ago to supply water to the city of Madrid. It employs more than 2500 people working daily to provide a service to more than 6 million people in the region. It is an innovative company, a leader in its sector, and internationally recognised for its management of the integrated water cycle. It operates 13 reservoirs; 78 underground springs; 14 drinking water treatment plants; 17,556 kilometres of conveyance and distribution channels; 131 pumping stations for drinking water and 133 for waste water; 14,956 kilometres of sewage networks; 65 storm tanks; 877 kilometres of sewers and outfalls; 157 waste water treatment stations; and 588 kilometres of reclaimed water channels.

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