Alqueva Dam, Portugal

May 07, 2013

AlquevaDSC_0511 (2)

Photographer: Luis Goncalves
Summary Authors: Luis Goncalves; Jim Foster

The photo above features the Alqueva Dam in southeastern Portugal releasing jets of water from its spillways, following heavy spring rains. The flow in early April 2013 was near its maximum peak level (2,400 cu m or 85,000 cu ft per second). Alqueva Dam was constructed over a decade ago, but its huge 97 sq mi (251 sq km) reservoir, the biggest in Western Europe, wasn't filled until last year. The purpose of building this dam was to guarantee an uninterrupted supply of water to residents, industries and agriculture with the capacity to maintain flow during at least three successive years of drought. Additionally, electrical power is generated at times of peak demand.

Alqueva Dam impounds water from the River Guadina. The source of the Guadina is in south central Spain. Its 508 mi (818 km) course flows west and then south, emptying into the Gulf of Cadiz. Photo taken on April 4, 2013.

Photo details: Camera Model: NIKON D5100; Lens: 17.0-55.0 mm f/2.8; Focal Length: 17mm (35mm equivalent: 25mm); Aperture: f/13.0; Exposure Time: 0.0040 s (1/250); ISO equiv: 100; Software: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.3 (Windows).