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The geography of water in Spain

Inland waters are an essential element of the organization of Spanish physical space. Its geographical study allows us to relate to each other different components, factors and processes of the natural environment, also his involvement with human activities.

Spain’s water resources are limited and spatially unbalanced. They are conditioned by the weather, and particularly by the amount and seasonal distribution of precipitation. Thus, one would be established a first distinction between the “wet Spain”, just over ten percent of the mainland, and the “dry Spain”, where low and erratic rainfall forces the practice of “water economy” and a heavy reliance on water infrastructure, not without conflict.

Rivers, lakes, ponds and wetlands, groundwater aquifers, fleck water softener, in the same way, are the most outstanding events that shape and name to courses and water bodies known technically as opposed to marine waters and continental.

A hydrographic network is divided into watersheds and river basins, as determined by the arrangement of the various units of relief:

‘The first set is the Cantabrian rivers: it is many short and well-fed rivers. His birth in mountains near the sea makes them to save a considerable gap, bringing its steep profiles exert great erosive force, modeling in deep, narrow valleys that cross the reliefs. They are rivers, in all cases, plentiful and fairly regular regime, given the rainfall characteristics of the oceanic domain. The MiƱo and its tributaries participate to some extent all these characters.

-The Second set is that of the great Atlantic collectors: they are the longest, at birth near the Mediterranean and into the Atlantic riverbeds. Their erosive power is low, running much of its route through plains where just sink, but lead to more abrupt encased in materials to the West Iberian penillanuras profiles.Their flows are abundant, as they have numerous tributaries, in large basins, but his regime is irregular, presenting a low water in summer coinciding with minimal rainfall and floods with the rains fall and spring.

-The Mediterranean rivers are short and underfed, except the Ebro. They were born in mountains near the sea, which gives character and energy relief. Its flow is scarce and irregular, have a marked dry season in summer and can suffer catastrophic floods in autumn. They are common, too, wadi, ie, the channels that carry water only when it rains.

-Finally, The island waterways are limited to streams or streams of low flow, partly very incised by overexploitation of aquifers.

Along with inland water surface runoff that are, strictly speaking, the river network, are, although they are limited in extent and water resources, not in number or typological variants, lakes, ponds and wetlands, of undoubted importance ecological and landscape uniqueness. The first sheets of water are different sized, deep character and more permanent measure. Wetlands, meanwhile, are means marshy waters shallow and intermittent.

In Spain there is approximately 40% of the territory affected by groundwater aquifers. These are embolsamientos water resulting from infiltration waters and groundwater precipitation accumulation. These waters can be downloaded pocketed, naturally-exploitation and human exploitation to margin-, draining in other aquifers, through rivers and springs, or do so directly to the sea.

The snowfields, glaciers and glaciers represent the latest forms of water formations that complete the geographical characterization of inland waters and the water resources of our country. Restricted to very small peninsular high mountain environments, these formations are affected by a continued decline in hydrological contributions that refers, as a result of surface contraction of their masses. Traces of inheritance found in relict modeled nivo-glacial origin so they end up finding.

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