MADRID – In Andalucia and Catalonia, thousands of people are experiencing the effects of water shortages. With low water levels in reservoirs and underground, both autonomous regions are considering drastic measures to continue guaranteeing water supply.
Although rain has returned to many parts of Spain, it remains dry in the south and northeast of the country. Many water reservoirs have been refilled in recent months to prepare for the upcoming dry summer months. However, Andalucia and Catalonia are starting 2024 with more than depleted water reserves.
Water supply restrictions
According to the weekly report from the Ministry of Ecological Transition quoted in El País, the following reservoirs are in the worst condition: Guadalquivir (at 19.3% of total capacity), Segura (18.9%), Andalucian Mediterranean Basins (18.8%), internal basins of Catalonia (16.8%), and Guadalete-Barbate (14.5%).
Both in Andalucia and Catalonia, stricter supply restrictions are being prepared. Among other things, it is being considered to transport water by boat.
Critical situation persists even after rain
Even if it rains in the coming days, the situation in Catalonia remains critical, and an emergency looms. Although water still flows from taps in Barcelona, in 70 municipalities, the water supply is already interrupted for several hours a day. These municipalities have almost depleted their own supplies and are now supplied by water tankers. There are even places where the local population stores water in jerry cans, buckets, or water tanks to get through the hours without tap water.
Thousands of euros for water
Municipalities are doing everything they can to continue providing water to residents, spending thousands of euros on various measures. Not only water tankers and pipelines to areas that still have water are being used, but also solidarity plans, water depots, and special drought plans to guarantee water supply.
The government of Catalonia introduced changes in the special drought plans (PES) in December to combat the severe water shortage. For example, showers in certain sports centers can no longer be used, and water-intensive industries have been restricted. The extraction of water from the rivers Llobregat, Ter, and Muga has also been limited.