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Useful Information About Tenerife

Water - The Special Elixir of Tenerife

Tenerife, surprisingly, does have underground fresh water reserves. There is no year round flowing water on Tenerife. Although Tenerife is surrounded by water, fresh water is a treasure which is brought in by the winds in the form of rain and humidity. The trade winds carry moist air over the mountains where the humidity, due to the decreasing temperature, condenses and forms on the rocks and vegetation. Dripping off of these, water oozes in to the loose volcanic rock and forms in to bodies of water only in the "galleries". Galleries are a network of man-made underground tunnels where the water is collected from the mountain and through channels and pipes to one of numerous reservoirs. With over 700 kilometres in length of tunnels, this forms the majority of the island's fresh water supply. In addition, there are about 500 wells that tap into the underground reservoirs. These underground reservoirs are formed inside the horizontal opaque layers of basalt in the mountains. Modern dams also provide water for agriculture and is increasing in popularity. Almost 50% of the volume of water formed by dams is consumed by agriculture and for this reason and due to the increasing demand, several water recovery systems have been introduced. Among other things, the use of treated wastewater for agriculture and the desalination of sea water have also been introduced.

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