Barcelona is facing important water scarcity

The capital city of Catalonia and one of my favorite European places is facing an increasing water scarcity due to a severe drought as El Pais notes.

This might lead to a total lack of water by October and there are no really good solution to solve this problem as Barcelona doesn’t have any water source nearby.

A really scary thought for an agglomeration that comprises more than five million inhabitants and is the second largest in Spain.

In their article – republished by Courrier International – El Pais reports that Barcelona have no important river in the vincinity.

The city thus takes water from miles away from the rivers Ter and Llobegrat which see their importance decrease each day more because of the most severe drought faced in the last sixty years.

Still according to this article, the water reserves of the city will last until fall. Afterwards, there are no real immediate solutions as the Llobregat desalinization plant that will function in April of the next year.

Solutions include the import of water from Almeria, Tarragone or Marseilles. More desalinization plants are due to launched in the next five years.

I tackled last year the issue of desalinization last year as the WWF was releasing an interesting report on this very topic. To this NGO :

“Desalinating the sea is an expensive, energy-intensive and greenhouse gas emitting way to get water,” says Jamie Pittock, Director of WWF’s Global Freshwater Programme.

“It may have a place in the world’s future freshwater supplies but regions still have cheaper, better and complementary ways to supply water that are less risky to the environment.”

To read out more, please click here.

Water scarcity in Barcelona triggers the disequilibrium between rural and urban areas. Indeed, Catalonia’s agriculture accounts for 73 percent of the water use and only for two percent of the GDP.

On the other hand the people only use 18 percent and the industries take the remains. It is worth noting that the latter seriously reduced its water consumption in order to avoid fines.

According to El Pais, it is high time for the agricultural sector to work on energy efficiency and to bring more equilibrium to the situation.

I am sure that the problem encountered in Barcelona and its region must be faced by many other cities in the Meditteranean area and elsewhere in the world.

As a matter of fact, I will soon write an article on seas and oceans as Terra Economica’s latest issue is on this very topic. So stay tuned !

And you, what do you think about this topic ? Do you fear water scarcity ?

2 thoughts on “Barcelona is facing important water scarcity”

  1. It’s a frightning that so many terrible things seem to be happening at the same time. First the fuel issue, then the food scarcity, then the earth quakes in China and now water scarcity.
    This demands a critical and speedy solution before it gets out of hand.
    Water scarcity is being recorded in Kano, a state in the Northern part of Nigeria. The bad thing is that Nigeria does not have a plan in place to handle these kind of emmergencies. Only God will see us through!

  2. Thanks for your comment ! 🙂

    I think we don’t have only one solution. We have eleven (at least) that I outlined in a previous article. And they only tackle climate change (and thus the fuel issue)

    Thanks for the info on Kano. I believe that most unfortunately it is not the only place in the world that is facing water scarcity and that has no plan (yet?) to solve this problem.

    Mankind can solve by itself most of these issues, it is a question of willingness worldwide, and time, and courage.

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