Polluted water drama in Córdoba: Living with 5 litres of water per person per day

by Lorraine Williamson
polluted water

PROVINCIA DE CÓRDOBA – It’s not raining, the reservoirs are getting emptier and that causes a lot of problems. In 24 villages in the Andalucian province of Córdoba, polluted water comes out of the tap. That is why water is distributed every morning and afternoon by the municipalities. 

Trucks distribute five litres of water per person per day to residents of villages such as Pozoblanco. The average normal water consumption in Spain is 142 litres per person per day (source). A difference of 137 litres. To put that into perspective: with an average shower, you use 35 to 70 litres of water. 

Greenish colour 

One resident told LaSexta, “Suddenly you can’t even rinse your veggies and the water tastes like it has algae in it. It’s a greenish colour.” It is therefore true that the inhabitants of Pozoblanco and 23 other villages in the north of the province of Córdoba cannot drink the water. It is polluted with excess organic carbon. Cooking is no longer possible with tap water. 

Related post: Drought in Spain: 27% of the country is already on alert or in distress of water shortages 

Run on bottled water 

It seems that this problem has been exacerbated after the transfer of water between two reservoirs in response to the drought. In the local supermarkets, it is noticeable that as soon as the doors are opened there is a run on bottled water. Restaurants are also experiencing problems due to water scarcity and the poor quality of the water that is available. 

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Authorities looking for a solution 

No one knows how long this situation will last. The mayors of the affected villages already met with the provincial government on Wednesday to look for a solution. After all, citizens cannot lead a dignified life without water. 

Read also: Is tap water safe to drink in Spain? 

The local differences with regard to the water supply are large. This is not only due to differences in precipitation per geographical zone, but also to how much water is used for agriculture or keeping golf courses green. 

For example, the Axarquía region east of Málaga has been plagued by drought and restrictive measures for some time, while people on the Costa del Sol, west of Málaga, are not affected by anything. The province of Almería in the far east of Andalucia also regularly suffers from droughts. This while this province, together with a large part of the Murcia region, is called the ‘vegetable garden’ of Europe because of its intensive agriculture. 

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