Rain good news in Catalonia, but water use restrictions remain in place

by Lorraine Williamson
rain in Catalonia

The abundant rainfall of the last few days in Catalonia has caused the situation to go from “exceptional” to “alert” in the 23 municipalities that depend on the Llobregat River. In some places, more than 100 litres of rain fell per square metre. However, it is too early to lift or alleviate the measures to reduce water use.

Almost at 20% of capacity

At the moment, the internal basins of the whole of Catalonia are at 19.60% of their capacity. The reservoirs of the Ter-Llobregat system have exceeded 20% for the first time in many months. The figures represent a significant improvement compared to last year, but unfortunately the situation is still far from optimal.

Situation remains worrying

According to the spokesperson of the Catalan government, Patrícia Plaja, the rain of the past few days in Catalonia should not give a distorted picture of reality. Because “Catalonia is still in a state of worrying and severe drought”. Plaja, who was questioned about this during the press conference after the Consell Executiu, confirmed that “the time has not come to reverse measures”. She therefore did not give a time perspective on when this debate will be reopened.

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Drought

The decision on the end of the drought and all the restrictions that come with it is not just in the hands of the government or the regional Ministry of Climate Action. Everything will depend on the debate and decisions of the interdepartmental drought committee. It will study the state of the Catalan reservoirs after this rainy period on the one hand, and the needs of certain sectors on the other. Like, for example, the irrigation campaigns in the agricultural sector, which should start in the coming weeks. And of course, the weather forecast also plays a role.

No decision yet on water use measures

During this period, no decision is expected on the state of emergency due to drought in Catalonia. Nor about the water restrictions to alleviate the water shortage. The good news is that more abundant rain is expected across Catalonia this week. Especially at the headwaters, the first part from the source of the rivers. As a result, there is a chance that the water level in the reservoirs will rise again next week.

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