The Carretera Vella in Valldemossa became its own "torrent" because of the amount of rain. | J. Jiménez


What had looked like being a drier than usual autumn - there was 14% lower rainfall than the average up to the end of November - was totally transformed by the recent heavy rain. Such was the intensity of the rain that this December is the wettest on record.

In the Tramuntana, 526 litres per square metre were registered in Lluc, the greatest volume since records began to be kept; on 20 December alone there were 202 litres of rain. In various municipalities there were also records, the Aemet meteorology agency saying that a number had more rain in one day than is normal for the whole month.

The environment ministry has yet to make a formal announcement regarding the drought situation in Majorca, but the heavy rain of the past week has brought about a dramatic improvement to water resources, and one Tramuntana municipality to benefit is Valldemossa.

In June, a ban on the use of water from the general supply network for watering gardens and filling pools was introduced, while there was also a restriction on supply to rural land. This was the first time that the town hall had introduced such measures, but it has now ceased to apply any sanctions.

The accumulation of water, following total rainfall of more than 450 litres, has meant that the main well is back to its maximum reading, one of 63 metres. Everything points to the aquifer being in a positive condition as well.

Although the restriction measures have not yet been formally withdrawn, the town hall recognises that there is no need to apply them. For the time being, there is a prohibition on watering and pools in rustic areas, as this is subject to regulations that are valid all year and countermand any issued by the town hall.

Prudent use of water is still to be asked for, as it is impossible to predict what may happen for the remainder of this year and into next year.

The heavy rain caused only minor incidents, with some dry-stone walls collapsing and leaks in municipal buildings and schools.

Elsewhere in the Tramuntana, municipalities such as Banyalbufar and Estellencs had to resort to the use of water tank trucks during the summer. They will now be examining the condition of the aquifers to see if they have recovered sufficiently in order to guarantee supply next summer.