Agua es vida! – Water is life!”


“Agua es vida” – “Water is life”

“Agua es vida!” – “Water is life!” I really understood this saying and started to be more aware about water after I moved to Andalusia. Living in “el campo” we had our share of water saga over the years. At the beginning, we had to have our water delivered by a lorry to our house every three weeks or so, nevertheless to say, a costly monthly expense. After few years, and countless neighborhood water meetings we finally got water from the township. What a relieve! We still have to have a full water reservoir on out property a very useful thing in the hot summer months when sometimes the water company cuts the water supply. In those weeks, being careful with water use is a very important task. We learned to to take shorter showers, to use more the dish washing machine and of course to save water anyway we can around the house. Efficiency and awareness are the words.

The winter of 2009/2010 was the rainiest in Andalusia’s history, and we had 86 rainy days out of 90. The water supply reservoirs around the province had to be emptied few time into the sea. In February 2010, torrential downpours persisted for several weeks in Andalusia, normally a very dry region of the country.


“Agua es vida” – “Water is life”

The impact of the wet weather was marked with the cost of the damage running into millions of euro. Farmers lost entire crops while many villages had to cope with severe flooding on a frequent basis as rivers broke their banks and reservoirs were over-topped. Whole sections of motorways collapsed as embankments gave way beneath them. In late February the provinces of Jaén, Córdoba and Seville were put on high alert as the River Guadalquivir broke its banks. The Guadalquivir is the longest river in Andalusia with its source in the Sierra Cazorla, Jaén: it runs through Córdoba and Seville before exiting into the Gulf of Cádiz. Following two months of above-average rainfall over the river’s catchment area, February’s estimated 209mm of rain (344% of the average) led to the river in Córdoba rising to such a height that, on the 24th, it covered all the pillars of the Puente Romano (an old Roman bridge) with some water ingress into nearby city streets. Incidentally, the last major flood of the Guadalquivir to affect the city of Córdoba was in 1963, drawing further parallels with the previous wet winter of 1962/1963.

Unfortunately the last two winters we didn’t have enough rainfall around here and we are preparing and expecting a long and dry summer ahead with limited water supply.

We got some rain in the past three days, (unfortunately not enough) and it’s amazing to see how nature exploded in just 48 hours. The hills and crops stretched over the horizon erupted in emerald green, the birds are singing happily and the smell of fresh earth and wild herbs fill the air. It’s beautiful!  As locals say “Agua is vida” or “Water is life” and today, on International Water Day I couldn’t agree more.

More photos about International Water Day around the world here


“Agua es vida” – “Water is life”

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