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Filling the alberca

Forgive us if this post appears a little boring at first. It’s about filling up an alberca – a water storage tank. Some people who follow our blog will know naff-all about them (as we once did) and to whom ‘water tank’ means a black, plastic thing from B&Q.  Their importance – to provide precious water to people’s lawns and olive, citrus and almond trees – cannot be overstated.

A friend explained the process, for them at least. They buy a paper ticket from a back office in a car mechanics in Órgiva (no idea why it’s there) which is given to the person in charge of supplying the water to prove (i) the house/land owner is entitled to the water (this is often included in the deeds of the property, their ‘water rights’) and, (ii) that they have paid for it.

They pay for two or three hours of water, depending how low the water level in the alberca has reached, which is pumped from a well (pozo) and travels down a series of acequias to the tank. The water can take 10 minutes to arrive.

This alberca needs a good clean to remove the weeds but we love the way the water – churning up the iron oxide-rich earth as it makes its way down – merges with the green. A bit like Willy Wonka’s chocolate waterfall.

The Arabic for pool is albírka and some have been found in Las Alpujarras and dated to the 15th century.

Related posts:

Frog chorus…OK, a duet

Acequias – water, water, every where

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All about Granada, Órgiva, La Alpujarras, Las Alpujarras, Andalucia, Spain – tapas, history, local guides and more.


2 thoughts on “Filling the alberca

  1. I think they might also get used as a plunge pool to cool down…?!

    Posted by Wendy Kate | August 17, 2014, 1:13 pm
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