The (lack of) Rain in Spain

Spain suffering worst drought in over a decade

Spain faces water restrictions widely this summer as it suffers its worst drought in more than a decade. In one of the worst affected areas, Catalunya, the Barcelona government is hoping to pre-empt a summer crisis by importing water by tanker.

A decrease in annual rainfall since the 1970s is said to have contributed to the low reservoir levels. At present Spain’s Water Agency reports that reservoirs across the country are running at an average capacity of less than 50 percent. In the worst affected areas such as Catalunya and Andalucia the capacity in many reservoirs is said to be less than 20 percent Malaga is facing its fourth year of severe drought.

Barcelona plans to import water from southern France and ironically from drought stricken Andalucia. The water from the latter is to be imported from a desalination plant in Almeria. The Water Agency has been forced to address the growing problem of water shortages. It is currently investing over 100 million Euro in measures to import drinking water, and to build desalination and water purification plants.

Spain is not alone in its crisis with its neighbour Portugal currently suffering its worst winter drought since 1917. This is likely to bring similar problems as those experienced in Spain.

The director-general of Spain’s State Meteorology Agency said that the shortage of rain means that Spain is going to see its driest hydrological six-month period (October-March) for 60 years. While unsettled showery weather is forecast over the next few days and through the spring, it is unlikely to address the current shortages.

Source: BBC Weather

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