Barring unforeseen rains in the coming weeks, Barcelona and its metropolitan area are heading for water restrictions from mid-September. This was foreseen this Wednesday by the director of the Catalan Water Agency (ACA), Samuel Reyes, who has placed the declaration of a drought alert in the conurbation of the Catalan capital as a probable scenario.
In statements to Catalunya Ràdio, Reyes explained that the reservoirs of the Catalan internal basins are at 42%. Without rain in the medium term and with a downward trend in the reservoirs, Reyes has predicted “limitations” in certain uses of water in the Barcelona metropolitan area, but that it would not affect drinking water.
The limitations would be, among others, restricting the irrigation of gardens twice a week, not being able to clean the street with hoses, a maximum daily allocation per inhabitant of 250 liters (between 115 and 130 are usually spent) and reductions in agriculture, livestock and facilities such as fields of use.
The director of the ACA has remarked that, if it were necessary to declare the alert in the Barcelona area, the citizens “will not notice it at the tap” in September or October, and has said that without the desalination plants the percentage of the reservoirs would be 3 or 4 percentage points lower.
There have been three factors that have exacerbated the drought this year: the lack of rain in recent months; the little snow that has fallen in winter, which has not helped to fill the reservoirs after the thaw; as well as the premature heat, which has meant that in May there was already water consumption typical of the month of July.
Reyes has affirmed that water is a limited resource, has advocated its proper use and has pointed out that habits must be improved to increase efficiency in the home.
The current drought, according to Reyes, is very similar to the one experienced in 2018, but it is not as “critical” as the one in 2007 and 2008, when the reservoirs were below 20%.
Reyes has said that there are currently around thirty Catalan municipalities with water restrictions, and has guaranteed supply in municipalities connected to supra-municipal networks for “a few months”.