Catalonia declares a drought emergency

Catalonia declares a drought emergency

Catalonia declared a dought emergency in 24 municipalities, which account for around 25,000 residents in total, are in a state of wazer emergency.

Reservoir levels are low and water restrictions have been imposed because of a lack of rainfall over the last 30 months. 

This means they must lower their consumption to a daily average of 200 litres of water per resident from a prior cap of 230. 

Authorities are not limiting water for human consumption yet, but watering for agricultural purposes will be largely banned, and water use for industrial and recreational purposes has to drop by 25 per cent.

Drought is leaving reservoirs empty

People sunbathed on the reservoir's newly-exposed shore, where a few specks of grass have cropped up. Some visitors tried to paddle-surf.

Catalonia's authorities imposed new water usage restrictions on 22 villages around the reservoir, near the French border and 2 in the south, as the aquifer supplying them is also emptying.

Spain registered the driest start to a year in the first four months of 2023 since records began in the 1960s, with Catalonia and southern Spain's Andalusia being the most affected.

Several heatwaves recorded in Spain and wider Europe this summer have worsened the drought, lowering reservoirs' levels as water evaporation and consumption increased, said Ruben del Campo, spokesperson for Spain's meteorological agency AEMET.