Spain: The holiday region of Catalonia declares a water emergency

The holiday region of Catalonia declares a water emergency

The Sau reservoir about 100 kilometers north of Barcelona. photo

© Emilio Morenatti/AP/dpa

A lack of water has been troubling the Spanish holiday region of Catalonia for three years now. Now the situation is getting worse.

The government of Catalonia has declared a state of emergency due to water shortages. The measure will come into force on Friday in the capital Barcelona and 201 other municipalities in the region in northeastern Spain, the regional government announced.

There will be new strict restrictions on consumption that will affect around six million people (out of a total of around eight million residents of Catalonia) in the provinces of Barcelona and Girona. A state of emergency has been in effect for several months in three dozen municipalities in the province of Tarragona. In other areas there has been a so-called preliminary state of emergency. Catalonia is suffering from the worst drought since records began a century ago, said regional president Pere Aragonès.

Water consumption is limited

In the holiday region, which is also very popular with Germans, water consumption is now limited to a maximum of 200 liters per person per day. If the situation worsens, the limit can be reduced to 180 liters in a second phase and to 160 liters in a third phase. For comparison: In the regional capital Barcelona, ​​consumption is currently on average 173 liters, but in other larger communities it is sometimes well over 200 liters. Previously, during the pre-emergency period, there was a limit of 230 liters per person per day.

Until further notice, you are not allowed to wash cars, sidewalks or streets. Filling most swimming pools is also prohibited. Public and private gardens and parks may only be irrigated under certain circumstances and then only with recycled water.

Agriculture particularly affected

Farmers will be hit hard, having to reduce their consumption by 80 percent. The livestock industry has to save 50 percent and industry 25 percent. Penalties of up to 150,000 euros are envisaged for violations.

The lack of rain that has been ongoing for over three years, or more precisely for 40 months, has caused the water levels in the reservoirs to drop massively. On average, the reservoirs are only about 16 percent full. Some are even practically empty. About a year and a half ago the average was just under 60 percent. In addition to Catalonia, Andalusia in Spain is also affected by a serious water shortage.


source site-1