MADRID, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- Spain went into 2018 with water reserves at a level of just 38.93 percent, according to data released on Wednesday by the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment.
The reserves are 23 percent down on the start of 2017 and 32 percent lower on the average for the past 10 years after a dry year in many parts of southern and central Spain. They were at their lowest level since 1995, when reservoirs were filled to just 36.9 percent of their capacity.
2017 saw an average rainfall of 125 liters per square meter in Spain, which is 44 percent down on the yearly average of 224 liters per square meter, with an autumn dominated by high pressure systems proving to be especially dry.
However, the problem is unevenly spread across the country. While reservoirs in the Basque Region and Cantabria in the north of Spain stand at 90.5 percent and 91.8 percent capacity, water reserves in the basin of the River Segura, southeast Spain, stand at just 14.37 percent.
The Juncar river basin to the east of Madrid is at just over a quarter of its capacity and 10 of Spain's 16 major rivers are at less than 50 percent capacity.