Ocean


Ocean

If you travel round Tenerife you’ll see very little water anywhere (yes I know – apart from the Atlantic Ocean I mean!). Try to find a river, even a little stream, and you’ll very soon be scratching your head in bemusement. Quite simply there’s very little water about. Visible water, that is. The vast majority of Tenerife’s water supplied is in underground reservoirs within the rocks. So how does it get there. Some of it is deposited via rainfall and some from the thawing of the winter snow, but the vast majority of the island’s water supply comes direct from the clouds. How? Canary pine trees have the longest needles of any pine tree. The needles are smooth on one side and serrated on the other. These jagged edges trap water from the clouds. This is the reason why the pine forests ring the island at cloud level (approximately 1400-2000 metres altitude), and not higher or lower. The needles trap water from the passing clouds, then this water drips from the needles onto the ground. The tree roots absorb whatever water the tree needs for nourishment, and the rest filters into the earth and collects in vast underground reservoirs that are ‘tapped’ for use by the island’s population. Even so, the growth in population, both residential and visiting, has caused the island government to begin a programme of constructing seawater recycling plants to cope with demand. Incidentally, the more easterly Canary islands, being much lower in altitude, have long had problems coping with demands on the water supply. So now you know. A bit.