Tenerife Water Supply
April 12, 2009 2 Comments
Looking at the Island of Tenerife you might wonder how it manages to provide water for nearly 2 million residents and nearly 10 million visitors every year. The answer is simple but the natural and sustainable solution could not have been achieved without considerable effort on the part of the locals.
The island is volcanic and therefore mostly permeable, rainwater and thawing snow from the highlands, and condensation from the forests filters down through the subsoil into non porous geological formations where water is collected. There are some small external reservoirs, mostly for agricultural use but most water for domestic consumption comes from underground galleries and wells.
There are now over one thousand of these galleries dug into the mountains covering over 1700 kilometres. There are also around 500 wells each of which is on average, over 100 metres deep. Over 80% of water consumed in Tenerife comes from these galleries and wells. Water is then distributed through over 4000 kilometres of pipelines and channels to reach it’s point of use. Agriculture accounts for 50% of the overall Tenerife water consumption. The natural water is often high in mineral and salt content and it is therefore treated by de-mineralisation and desalination plants to maintain quality at the point of use.
Tenerife has a long term sustainable solution for providing water for domestic and agricultural consumption due to its geological composition. We intend to research more about Tenerife infrastructure and include our findings on this blog.