Madrid.—Spain has less water than a week ago to generate hydropower and irrigate crops, the latest official data showed yesterday, potentially adding to its already hefty burden of gas and grain imports.

The Ministry for the Environment and Rural Affairs said in its latest weekly bulletin that hydropower reservoirs had enough water to produce 14'823 gigawatt-hours of electricity, 318 less than last week. With annual demand running at 259'000 GWh, hydropower stations could, by themselves, meet Spain's average electricity needs for 20.9 days.

Despite the drop, reserves were 22.1 percent above the average for the last ten years, a factor which has kept gas-fired plants idle and hobbled a recovery in gas demand in the world's eighth-biggest natural gas importer. Vigorous hydro output also weighs on wholesale power prices and affects revenues for generators such as Iberdrola, Endesa, Gas Natural and Hidrocantabrico.

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