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Hidrography

Our region is located in the Duero basin that is, with no doubt, the most important river in Castilla y León. Of the almost 900 km of the river, near 600 cross our region from east to west, from the river source at Picos de Urbión (Soria province), to get to Portugal through Zamora. It also crosses the provinces of Burgos and Valladolid and flows through important population centres like Soria, Aranda de Duero, Peñafiel, Tordesillas, Toro or Zamora. Its flow increases due to different tributaries like the Pisuerga or the Esla in the north and the Adaja or the Tormes in the south.

But this is not the only river flowing through our lands. Also, one of the most important rivers in Spain, the Ebro, whose source is in Cantabria enters in La Rioja after flowing through the north of Palencia and Burgos.

Rivers of Castilla y León

The water and rivers of Castilla y León are managed by four Confederations: the Confederación Hidrográfica del Duero, the Confederación Hidrográfica del Norte de España, the Confederación Hidrográfica del Ebro and the Confederación Hidrográfica del Tajo.

Castilla y León has many reservoirs, that make possible a rational use of the hydrous resources, not only for the population supplying but also for the generation of hydroelectric power or for agricultural use.  We must highlight two of the most important Spanish reservoirs, located in our region: Almendra in Salamanca and Ricobayo in Zamora.

Main reservoirs of Castilla y León
Province Holder Capacity (hm³) Uses River
Aguilar de Campoo Palencia State 247 Hydroelectric, Irrigation Pisuerga
Aldeadávila Salamanca Iberdrola Generación S.A 114 Hydroelectric Duero
Almendra Salamanca Iberdrola Generación S.A 2,649 Hydroelectric Tormes
Bárcena León State 341 Hydroelectric, Irrigation Sil
Barrios de Luna León State 308 Provision, hydroelectric, irrigation Órbigo-Luna
Cernadilla Zamora Iberdrola Generación S.A 255 Hydroelectric Tera
Cuerda del Pozo Soria State 229 Provision, hydroelectric, irrigation Duero
El Burguillo Ávila State 198 Provision, hydroelectric, irrigation Alberche
Irueña Salamanca State 123 Irrigation Águeda
Juan Benet León State 317 Provision, hydroelectric, irrigation Porma
Riaño León State 651 Hydroelectric, Irrigation Esla
Ricobayo Zamora Iberdrola Generación S.A 1,2 Hydroelectric Esla
Santa Teresa Salamanca State 496 Provision, hydroelectric, irrigation Tormes
Saucelle Salamanca Iberdrola Generación S.A 182 Hydroelectric Duero
Valparaiso Zamora Iberdrola Generación S.A 164 Hydroelectric Tera

Source: Environment Ministry and Duero and North Hydrographic Confederations

Open a new window to download the Table  Download the table Main reservoirs of Castilla y León in Excel format


Especially important is the Canal de Castilla, whose complete construction, more than 200 km, took over a century; since the middle of the XVIII century to the middle of the XIX century. This construction aimed at linking the provinces of Palencia, Burgos and Valladolid, from Alar del Rey up to Ribas de Campos at the north branch, from Ribas de Campos to Medina de Rioseco at the Campos branch and from El Serrón up to Valladolid at the south branch. Planned as a mean of transportation for goods, mainly cereal, its commercial activity lasted a century, and then it was used as an irrigation channel.

In its route, we can see remarkable architectural monuments in interesting population centres like Frómista, Palencia, Valladolid or Medina de Rioseco. We can't forget the own's Canal de Castilla structure, its annexed infrastructures, its locks, its factories and its mills, combining the civil woks with the natural environment.

The Canal de Castilla
 

More information: Spatial Data Infrastructure in Castilla y León (IDECyL)