Ghost Village Emerges As Drought Brings Resevoirs To Historic Low

A long-deserted ghost village has emerged from a once deep reservoir in north-western Spain and made headlines around the world for it´s eerie and ghostly visage.

The resevoir that has been starved of water due to the long drought affecting much of the country including the Madrid region.

At just 15% of its capacity, the Alto Lindoso reservoir in the autonomous region of Galicia, is one of a growing number of reservoirs being bled dry as Spain’s water resources struggle to keep up with demand.

The Alto Lindoso was created in 1992 with the flooding of the valley including the then inhabited village of Aceredo on the Spanish-Portuguese border.

Maria del Carmen Yanez, the mayor of the municipality of Lobios  blamed the situation on the lack of rain in recent months, particularly in January, as well as the  “quite aggressive exploitation” by the Portuguese power company, EDP, which manages the reservoir.

The company denied the charge stating that it managed the reservoir “efficiently.”

The issue of water resources and the sustainability of reservoirs is becoming increasingly a national issue – last year several Spanish villages complained about Spain´s Iberdrola power company exploiting water resources at the expense of local communities.

The latest figures released by the Spanish government show that capacity this month has fallen to 44% – well below the average of about 61% over the last decade.

The reservoirs in the Madrid region fare better at 60% as of this month though this is far off the over 85% recorded in the aftermath of Storm Filomena which filled the region´s 572.8 cubic hectometres of capacity.

The strategic water planning of the Madrid´s regions 13 reservoirs, run by the Canal Isabel II has however provided a blueprint for the rest of the country.

Despite a rising population – an increase of some 14% over the last 20 years, the regional consumption has fallen by nearly 20% since 2005, reflecting better use of water resources by consumers and industry.

The national situation is far more serious with the lack of rain being the main cause – in the last three months of 2021, Spain recorded just 35% of the average rainfall  over the previous 40 years and hardly a drop since.

According to the state meteorological agency – AEMET –  in this century, only in 2005 has there been a January with hardly any rain.

Spain´s national reserves of water stand this month at 25,000 cubic hectometres out of a total capacity of 56,000.
















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