Concerns that Tagus river could dry up

Concerns have been raised across the border that the Tagus river runs the risk of drying up completely. The news comes as the Iberian Peninsula is in the grips of an extended period of drought.

A report earlier this week in the Guardian has raised the alarm, with Miguel Ángel Sánchez, spokesman of the Platform in Defence of the Tagus, saying “the river has collapsed through a combination of climate change, water transfer and the waste Madrid produces.”
The Tagus, known in Spanish as the Tajo and Portuguese as the Tejo, rises in Aragón in northern Spain, passes close to Madrid and forms part of the border with Portugal before flowing into the sea at Lisbon.
According to the Guardian, the Tagus is dammed no fewer than 51 times in Spain
alone, but it states the amount of available water was miscalculated and Spain’s cyclical droughts were not factored in.
Today only 47 percent of the predicted water resources exist and levels in the two headwater dams are down to 11 percent capacity, too low to allow any transfers.
“All of these problems derive from designing a water transfer from the headwaters of a river, overestimating the available resources and joining two areas with similar climate cycles,” Nuria Hernández-Mora, a founding member of the Foundation for a New Water Culture told the broadsheet.
“The transfer has served to create social and political conflict and turn the Tagus into one of the rivers in the worst ecological state in the
The newspaper further reveals that Portuguese have complained that Spain is siphoning off water and polluting the river, arguments Spain rejects.

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