Water and river systems in the Sierra de Cazorla, Segura & Las Villas Natural Park
The Sierras de Cazorla, Segura & Las Villas Natural Park is one of the major water and river systems in the Spanish peninsula. It is the birthplace of two important rivers, each draining into a separate basin: firstly, the Guadalquivir, running from Cañada de Las Fuentes (1,350 metres) throughout the region of Andalusia as far as Sanlúcar de Barrameda in Cadiz and flowing out into the Atlantic Ocean. Its main tributaries are the rivers Borosa, Aguamulas, Guadalimar, Aguarrocín, Guadiana Menor and Guadalentín (“Guad…” is a prefix for many rivers and towns and villages in Andalusia, from the Arabic for “river”).
The other major basin is that of the River Segura, whose source is at Pontones, whose eventual flowing into the Mediterranean Sea is also increased by three tributaries: the Madera, Tus and Zumeta rivers.
The high rainfall and steepness of the mountain systems in the area producing volumes that can exceed 500 litres per second, although in spite of the high peaks in the Sierras de Cazorla, Segura & Las Villas Natural Park, practically none of this water is attributed to melting snow. The other reason for such an important volume of water are the vast aquifers in the predominantly limestone rock.
There are three main reservoirs, the Guadalmena, Negratín and Tranco de Beas, plus several medium sized and small ones.