Catalonia water crisis


Catalonia, a renowned tourist destination, is facing a water crisis leading the regional government to declare a state of emergency. Starting this Friday, strict measures will be implemented in Barcelona and 201 other municipalities in northeastern Spain. This decision follows the historic water scarcity in the region, affecting around six million people out of Catalonia’s total population of eight million, particularly in Barcelona and Girona provinces.

The severe drought, described by Regional President Pere Aragonès as the worst in a century, prompts a cap on water consumption at 200 liters per person per day. If the situation worsens, the limit may be further reduced to 180 liters and 160 liters in subsequent phases. Notably, the current average consumption in Barcelona is 173 liters, while some larger communities exceed 200 liters.

Additional restrictions include a ban on car washing, filling swimming pools, and watering public and private gardens unless with recycled water under specific conditions. Farmers face an 80% reduction in water usage, with penalties of up to €150,000 for violations. This crisis, persisting for over three years, has caused reservoir levels to plummet, with an average fill rate of just 16%, down from nearly 60% a year and a half ago. Beyond Catalonia, Spain’s Andalusia region is also grappling with severe water scarcity.

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