Guadiana River Basin (Spain/Portugal)


According to the Köppen climate classification, the basin’s climate is a Csa climate, namely a hot-summer Mediterranean climate. Regions with Csa-type climates experience well-defined hot, dry seasons and mild, wet winters (Maia & Vincente-Serrano, 2017; Palop-Donat et al., 2020).

Mean annual precipitation ranges between 450 to 550mm, with around 80% of precipitation occurring between October to April (Palop-Donat et al., 2020). A key characteristic of the Mediterranean climate is the interannual irregularity of rainfall with years of above and below-average rainfalls (Maia, 2021).

Annual average temperatures range from 14 to 16°C (Palop-Donat et al., 2020). Generally, scarce summer rainfalls and high summer temperatures lead to low-water levels. Due to these semi-arid climate characteristics, drought periods occur naturally over the basin, which is a challenge for water users (Maia, 2021; Palop-Donat et al., 2020).



Maia, R. (2021): The Guadiana Case. In: United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (2021). GAR Special Report on Drought 2021. Geneva. Available at:

Maia, R., Vicente-Serrano. S. (2017) Drought Planning and Management in the Iberian Peninsula. In: Wilhite, D. and Pulwarty, R. (ed) Drought and Water Crises: Integrating Science, Management, and Policy, 1st ed. Taylor & Francis Group, pp 481-505.

Palop-Donat, C., Paredes-Arquiloa, J., Solera, A., & Andreu Álvarez, J. (2020): Comparing performance indicators to characterize the water supply to the demands of the Guadiana River basin (Spain). In: Hydrological Sciences Journal, 65(7), 1060-1074. doi:

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