Costa Blanca Climate


As part of the Year 9 work on climate and the environment, this topic involves a special study focusing on the water system of Benidorm and Marina Baja.  First we will review the work we have done on Mediterranean climate (Interactions, pages 16-17) and do some further work from the book on Mediterranean vegetation (pages 18-19).


The Amadorio reservoir BEFORE the rains of December 2016


The Amadorio reservoir AFTER the rains of December 2016

1. Alicante in the Recent Drought

In recent times we have experienced a severe drought which has affected water supply to urban areas and agriculture. Agriculture tends to be the “poor relation” and the politicians want to keep people happy in towns so they get votes! Farmers have therefore suffered most in the drought.

We know when the drought began but we don’t know if it is over.  The European Drought Observatory monitors European drought and our EDO source document  Drought News August 2014 is from the significant period in the middle of the current drought 2012-2016. Students have a hard copy of the document and you can get a PDF copy of it here:


This Alicante drought bulletin from the European Drought Observatory contains useful information about departures from the long term average rainfall and makes comparisons between Alicante and other parts of Europe; also comparisons between Alicante and neighbouring regions in south-east Spain.  We explored the document in two lessons and became familiar with the key terms and graphics.  The homework was the following:

  1. Using data from the EDO hand-out describe the differences in rainfall between Alicante and other regions of Europe.
  2. Using data from the hand-out, describe the differences in the seriousness of the drought, comparing Alicante with the other four Spanish regions in the document.
  3. Using information from the hand-out explain why soil moisture analysis helps provide evidence of drought.

Key words:

Page 3 Deficit: a shortage (in this case represented as a percentage change from 100% normal (blue) to 100% abnormal (red)

Page 4 Oscillation: going up and down (in this case the line on the graph is oscillating, going up and down (between January and April). Use this term in your description in question 2.

Page 4 Persisted: kept going.  To persist is to continue with something.

2. Comparison of rainfall patterns

  1. Refer to page 3, Figure 1 of the EDO Drought News document (it is in the black plastic crate next to the globe at back of S4).
  2. Draw a bar chart titled Departure from Long-term Average Rainfall in %
    Use the colours given for percentages in the key.
    Do bars for Alicante compared with seven other regions in Europe: choose them yourself and use an Atlas (on shelf at back of S4) to identify regions on the rainfall map.  For example southern England, NW France, west coast of Norway, central Germany, etc.