In the conurbation of Barcelona, Spain’s second city, a state of emergency was declared on Thursday due to drought in this region in the northeast of the country, where the level of water reservoirs is critically low.
The decision of the authorities, announced by Catalan Prime Minister Pere Aragonès, leads to new restrictions on the water consumption of 6 million inhabitants of the agglomeration and especially those of industry and agriculture.
“Catalonia is experiencing the worst drought in a century. We have never had such a long period of intense drought since we started keeping rainfall measurements,” Aragonès said at a news conference. He recalled that it has barely rained in the region for more than three years.
The reserves of rainwater that are stored for use in dry periods have fallen below the 16 percent threshold. Agriculture will have to reduce its water consumption by 80 percent, industry by 25 percent.
The average water consumption of the residents of 202 municipalities has been capped, but the water supply has not yet been interrupted. Sanctions will be taken against municipalities that do not comply with the ceiling. Swimming pools may not be filled, except public swimming pools that save water elsewhere. Watering greenery is prohibited, unless with non-potable water and if trees are in danger of dying. Cars are not allowed to be washed.