With only one inch of rain in January - its driest month for thirty years - Gibraltar recently faced a grave shortage of water.
With only one inch of rain in January - its driest month for thirty years - Gibraltar recently faced a grave shortage of water. Stocks had fallen to 1,500,000 gallons by the end of the month as compared with about 10,000,000 gallons at the same time last year.
The Mayor warned the population of an imminent drought and gave instructions that all must observe the strictest economy in the use of water.
Both the Admiralty and the War Department helped to augment stocks that would have only lasted a fortnight. At a cost of GBP10,000, the authorities ordered 4 million gallons of water to be brought to the "Rock of Gibraltar" by a tanker from Britain.
For some time, work had been under way to improve existing methods of obtaining water. New timber framework was constructed and corrugated iron sheets were laid on top to extend the water catchment area on the eastern face of the Rock.
Finally, the British tanker "Border Castle" arrived March 18 and four million gallons of precious water were pumped into the reservoirs.
Then, ironically enough, on March 21, Gibraltar's dream of a downpour came true - the rains came. But not nearly enough to solve the water crisis as only 3/4-inch fell in 24 hours.
It was said that, even with another tanker-load of water, Gibraltar would have to exercise the greatest economy to get through the summer.