Concerns about ongoing drought and heat in Spain

by Lorraine Williamson
drought and heat

Spain is struggling with a historically long period of drought, and the ongoing heat raises concerns about the existing water supply. More than 100 Spanish municipalities are issuing a ‘hydrological alarm’ to be aware of water consumption. 

At the beginning of July, the Aemet announced that in the first months of the year as much as 25% less precipitation than usual. As a preview of the coming months, they said the situation is not likely to change until the autumn. The heat is lasting a long time this summer. And, furthermore, until October there seem to be hardly any (lengthy) periods of precipitation. 

Drought in parts of Spain very worrying 

In some parts of the country, the drought is currently very worrying. Moreover, it has already led to measures by autonomous regional authorities. For example, the situation of the various reservoirs in Spain is precarious. Some lakes, like the one in Badajoz, are at 25% of their usual capacity. For this reason, municipal authorities, among others, are doing their best to make residents aware of the water scarcity and come up with recommendations for using the current groundwater resources efficiently. 

Hydrological alarm in the municipalities of Catalonia and Galicia 

Catalonia and Galicia have already announced restrictions on the use of water. A hydrological alarm has been issued in 135 municipalities. These municipalities depend on rainfall and have their own shelters to meet the daily need for water. 

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Also read: Malaga company fights drought with “Deep Drop” device

The hydrological alarm means that water use for agricultural irrigation must be reduced by 25%, 10% for livestock, 5% for industrial use and 30% for recreational use. Also, fountains are not allowed to be refilled, private individuals are not allowed to clean the street with tap water and there are restrictions on filling a swimming pool and washing the car. Some municipal authorities are taking a different approach and set the maximum water consumption at 250 litres per person per day. 

According to meteorologists, only rain can alleviate the ongoing drought alarm in Spain. This is not about occasional showers, but about prolonged rainfall throughout the country. Something that does not appear to be happening in the coming months, according to the Aemet. 

Also read: Drought in Axarquia

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