BARCELONA – Due to the extreme drought in Catalonia, which has lasted for months, the region is considering transporting water to Barcelona by ship. This plan is not yet final but is considered a serious option.
Experts warn of the high costs associated with this measure. The water could cost between €5 and €10 per cubic metre. Furthermore, that is a significant increase compared to the current price of €2 to €3. This price increase would be unaffordable for many families. Moreover, this solution would not fundamentally change the current situation.
Water reserves at a critical low point
The Catalan government predicts that Ter-Llobregat’s water system will enter a state of emergency in January due to drought if there is no rain. Water reserves in Catalonia are alarmingly low, with only 17.6% capacity in internal basins. The region is currently in a pre-emergency phase, with the government preparing water conservation and consumption reduction measures.
Tarragona as a potential port for water transport
A potential port for water transport is Tarragona. The water would be piped directly from the Ebro River to the ship. The Tarragona Port Authority has inspected the pipeline and is planning a test before the Christmas period.
Drought emergency from January
In any case, current measures appear insufficient to alleviate the consequences of the critical drought. The Ter-Llobregat system could enter a drought crisis in January if there are no significant changes in weather conditions. Despite efforts to reduce water consumption, a state of emergency was originally expected in mid-December. The lack of rain has made the situation even worse.
Restrictive measures proposed
Governments are working on proactive measures to combat the crisis. The government appreciates the efforts that citizens are already making to save water. This includes restrictions on water use up to a maximum of 200 litres of water per person per day and the possibility of closing showers in sports facilities. However, public trees can still be watered to prevent them from dying.
Certain sporting activities can continue, but the showers in the changing rooms are closed. Economic activities that require intensive water use may be postponed if a drought emergency is declared. The government has opened 30 proceedings against municipalities for exceeding their water allocations and will impose sanctions if necessary.
Although transporting water by ship seems a necessary temporary solution, it is not a long-term solution to Catalonia’s drought problems.
Also read: Drought brings Malaga to red level