This year, we might have to prepare for an arid Barcelona, Source: Unsplash

Barcelona goes into water-restriction mode, won’t irrigate parks

Barcelona goes into water-restriction mode, won’t irrigate parks

In fact, the whole of Catalonia is preparing for dry times ahead, the worst in 15 years

Earlier this week, the Government of Catalonia announced tight restrictions on water usage even though it’s still winter, due to the ongoing drought in the autonomous region. The situation is so bad that this is considered a record-breaking drought of 29 months. The last time such restriction had to be enforced was back in 2008.

Restrictions will be placed on agricultural, industrial, and recreational use of water, while personal use will be limited to 230 litres per person per day.

Water use will have to be reduced by 40% in agriculture and 15% in industry, as a new state of exceptionality is declared around the Ter and Llobregat river basins near Barcelona, as well as for the Fluvià Muga aquifer. This exceptional state is the fourth stage out of a total of five that form part of Catalonia's drought plan, and Tuesday's announcement sees the areas affected move from the yellow stage to orange. 

Street cleaning is safe, though

The restrictions, however, will also affect the urban areas, where parks and greeneries are the largest consumers of the precious liquid. The Barcelona city council has thus taken the decision to stop watering grass meadows across the municipal area, as a way of saving 50% of the drinking water.

Trees, on the other hand, will continue to be watered but this will be done through the drip irrigation method, which is considered more sparing. It basically means that the plants will get enough moisture to ensure their survival.

Decorative fountains will remain switched off as decided in an earlier enhancement of drought-related restrictions. Street cleaning, however, will be mostly unaffected because it is already done mainly with groundwater.

Actually, the usage of the latter has expanded the capacity of the Catalonian capital to restrict its water usage from before. Apparently, the local administration has already reached a level of using 153 litres of drinking water per person per day.

Nevertheless, the situation is worrying since the main reservoirs supplying parts of the region are at record-low capacity.



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