Isla de La Palma Isla de La Palma Guide
An online Travel Guide to La Palma, Canary Islands
Holiday homes on La Palma, Canary Islands

 

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Puntagorda, La Palma
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Water supply is an important factor on the island of La Palma.
Contrary to some incorrect statements in the press and on other websites there is NO SHORTAGE of water on La Palma. There is a shortage on the over-developed islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria but La Palma does not have a water problem.
Of course being an island the water supply is not unlimited so measures are taken to ensure continuity of supply throughout the dry summer months.

Rain falls on the mountains of La Palma in the winter and seeps down in to the rocks. This process is aided by the Canarian Pine tree which has very long needles with a triangular cross section and a small groove in one side. When there are clouds in the pine forests on the upper part of the island the shape of the needle causes the water vapour to condense and form droplets on the needles. The drops run off the needle and seep into the ground re-suppling the water reserves throughout most of the year.

Horizontal tunnels (galleries) have been dug into the mountains over the centuries. They contain concrete channels or large water pipes to take the water doen to the populated and agricultural areas.
Water is moved around the island in covered channels or pipes. Farmers and plantation owners usually buy their water from one of the water co-operatives. It is then channelled down to water tanks where it is stored until required. There are often ingenious systems of channels and metal plates to direct water to the plants that need it.

Place: Los Sauces
Date: 2002-04
Copyright: Brian Smith, BTS Internet Services Marcos y Corderos: The water flowing through the culvert. There is a easy walking path alongside the culvert which slopes gently but can be very narrow and is not recommended for people with vertigo. The tunnels are walkable but narrow, low and wet in places.
 
Place: Los Sauces
Date: 2002-04
Copyright: Brian Smith, BTS Internet Services Marcos y Corderos: The walk through the tunnels in the Los Tilos area.
The tunnels and the concrete culverts were built to transport the natural spring water in the Caldera to the lower lying agricultural areas.
 
Place: Puerto Naos
Date: 2002
Copyright: Brian Smith, BTS Internet Services Elements of the water system are clearly to be seen on the steep rock cliffs behind Puerto Naos.
The large round tanks contain water for the bananas and is transported through the open concrete channels and large pipe in the background.
Drinking water is carried in the metal pipes in the foreground.
 
Place: Puntagorda
Date: 2000-05
Copyright: Brian Smith, BTS Internet Services The concrete water pipe transports water from the hills into Puntagorda and below.
 
Copyright: Brian Smith, BTS Internet Services The water basin in Puntagorda, completely full in February 2008.
 
Place: Barlovento
Date: 2001-12
Copyright: Gerard van Kempen Laguna de Barlovento, one of the large water reservoirs around the island. In November it was still half full even after the long dry summer. No shortage of water here.
 
Place: Los Sauces
Date: 2002-04
Copyright: Brian Smith, BTS Internet Services The water culvert next to a small road brings water from a tank down to the banana plantations. The times the water flows depends on the contract with the supplier and the suppliers system. It could be 30 minutes per day or perhaps 4 hours once a week. The customer is responsible for a tank to store the water.
 
Copyright: Brian Smith, BTS Internet Services A wooden 'door' blocks water to one part of the plantation and directs it to the right.
 
Copyright: Brian Smith, BTS Internet Services A water trough running through an orchard with various fruit trees. This trough is no longer in use and has been replaced with the more effective, but less interesting, plastic pipe system.
 
Place: Los Sauces
Date: 2002-04
Copyright: Brian Smith, BTS Internet Services The waterfalls in the winter at Marcos y Corderos.
 
Place: Los Sauces
Date: 2002-04
Copyright: Brian Smith, BTS Internet Services A 'window' in a tunnel wall with a curtain of water at Marcos y Corderos.
 
Copyright: Brian Smith, BTS Internet Services Water drips slowly from the natural spring Fuente de los Poleos in Garafia.
 
 
Water systems and springs on La Palma, Canary Islands
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