The review is devastating. The Catalan Water Agency has announced that in September, if nothing changes, there will be water cuts in the Barcelona metropolitan area. The Basque Country is beginning to cut off water at night for municipalities that do not depend on swamps. Cantabria has already cut off the water from the showers on the beaches and is preparing to go further. Galicia finalizes the preparations to declare the state of alarm. Andalusia is below 30% of reservoir water (Huelva below 25%) and farmers are doing extraordinary pruning to prepare the field for drought.
Spain is a car that is heading at full speed towards a wall and that wall is called ‘drought’.
How did we get to this situation? According to the National Hydrological Bulletin, the answer is simple: in the last three months it has rained 46% less than it should. In fact, in July that drop was around 70%. This is added to the fact that since October 1, 2021 (the date on which the hydrological year begins) it has fallen only 25% of normal in many areas of the country. That is to say, that “it does not rain on what is not wet”.
And if that would be a problem any year, now it’s a drama. The absence of rain has caught us with the reservoirs at historic lows. Not only are we 20 points below the average of the last 10 years, we are spending around 1.5% of the available water each week.
Close the tap. So much so that in communities such as Andalusia, Extremadura, Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, Navarra, Euskadi, Galicia or Castilla y León, restrictions have already had to be applied in order to ensure human consumption. A consumption that, as the days go by, seems increasingly compromised, despite the efforts of many communities to get water from where there is none.
What can we expect? July has been the driest July in 20 years and August, although it is expected to be more humid, the trend of low rainfall will continue. If the Mediterranean continues with such high temperatures and the appropriate weather conditions are met, huge episodes of cold drop can be experienced in September.
However, what is foreseeable is that these events are very concentrated geographically and that our capacity to store these rains is limited. You just have to remember that a few months ago, Castellón was one of the places with the most rainfall in the northern hemisphere and, in short, the problem has not disappeared.
a complicated year. Everything indicates that on October 1, 2022, a very difficult hydrological year will begin. It is true that since the terrible drought that lasted between 1991 and 1995, our planning capacity and our water management tools have improved a lot. However, the situation is about to become the worst drought since we have records and that is going to put us on the ropes.
Image | Pillar Flowers