The autumn rains have watered a good part of Spain, but the territory is still suffering from drought. On November 22, Spain’s water reserves were at 32.9% of their capacity, according to the Ministry of Ecological Transition. In detail, today they store 18,444 cubic hectometres (hm³) of water, “which is well below the average of 28,393 hm³ at the same time of the previous decade”, observed El Pais.
According to the daily, “from 1er September to today, precipitation has not reached 73% of normal, that is to say that a quarter of the average precipitation at this time of the year has failed”.
The situation is very worrying in the South – where the basins of the two great rivers Guadiana and Guadalquivir are respectively at 23% and 18.6% of their capacity – and in the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula.
Barcelona placed on drought alert
Tuesday, November 22, the autonomous government of Catalonia announced that 515 Catalan municipalities, including Barcelona, were placed on drought alert, which concerns 6.7 million inhabitants. It is the first time since a drought in 2008 that the capital of Catalonia, the second most populated region of the country, has experienced such a scenario.
This state of alert will be accompanied by water restrictions which will come into force on November 25 and which will not concern tap water in homes. The measures will reduce water use in agriculture (-25%), livestock (-10%), industry (-5%) and recreational uses requiring irrigation (-30%), reports the regional media ElNacional.cat. Restrictions are also planned in the municipalities with regard to the watering of green spaces and the cleaning of streets.
In the country, the lack of water also causes “a significant reduction in hydroelectric power generation and severe environmental impacts, such as the drying up of wetlands and the death of fish”, is alarmed El Pais.