Spain faces the most serious water deficit of the past fifteen years

The drought is undeniable in Spain. According to a report prepared by the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO) on the drought and water scarcity in Spain, in July 2022, 32.6% of the territory of Spain was facing a situation of "prolonged drought." In addition, the current volume of water in the national hydrographic reserve stands at 39.9%, almost 10% less than in the same month of the previous year. Hugo Moran, the Secretary of State for the Environment, has declared that the current water deficit is the most serious in the last fifteen years.

Given this situation, some regions have had to take certain measures to ensure water savings and guarantee public supply.

In Catalonia, where the water reserves of the reservoirs of the internal basins stand at 42% and the Riabl reservoir at only 13%, the Catalan Water Agency has announced that it's planning to implement partial restrictions in Barcelona, starting September, that will be limited to urban and recreational uses. Since the end of July, the Catalan Water Agency has already implemented restrictions on water consumption for agricultural, industrial, and recreational uses in 135 municipalities.

In Galicia, the Xunta declared the pre-alert for drought last July in the entire hydrographic district of Galicia-Costa, and the local administration of Pontevedra, where there's a prolonged drought, already prohibits using water suitable for human consumption to fill pools.

Andalusia has requested holding an urgent meeting of the National Drought Board to respond to the water deficit in the basins. The Guadalquivir basin is currently at 24% of its total capacity, and it's the driest basin in the entire Spanish territory.

In the Basque Country, the drought is affecting agriculture, in particular the grapes for wine and cereals' harvests, which were especially aggravated by the fires of the summer season. In addition, the water supply of some areas of the community (about 10 percent) is affected.

In Extremadura, the alert for drought has been active in the supply system of the Los Molinos reservoir since June of this year.

In Castilla y Leon, the recreational and ornamental uses of water have been limited since July 3.

Drought is a natural and recurring phenomenon typical of the Mediterranean climate that predominates in the Iberian Peninsula. However, these droughts could become more frequent and intense as a result of climate change, stated Rafa Seiz, policy technician of the Water Program of WWF Spain and Water Expert. "We have to adapt to these new, more extreme conditions, both individually and collectively," he added.



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