Worst drought in Spain for 100 years

Spain is strongly affected by climate change. In both December and January, for example, it was almost 30 degrees in the southern part of the country, where it should normally be around 17 to 20 degrees. A water emergency was recently declared in Catalonia due to a water shortage that has already lasted three years. The water reserves are currently far too low. The reservoirs are only 16% full. This compares to 60% a year and a half ago. The inhabitants of Catalonia are only allowed to consume 200 liters of water per day. The restrictions are hitting agriculture particularly hard.


According to a report by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the global water cycle is out of balance due to the climate crisis. In the Spanish province of Catalonia, around six million people are currently affected by the water shortage and official restrictions. Since February 2, residents have only been allowed to consume 200 liters per day. By way of comparison, around 50 liters are needed for a single shower and 180 liters for a full bath. If the water shortage continues, the daily water ration will be reduced to 180 or even 160 liters. Washing cars, streets and sidewalks is prohibited, as is filling empty swimming pools and watering gardens and parks, except with recycled water.


WMO report: Water security for billions of people is under threat


Farmers are particularly affected by the measures and are expected to reduce their water consumption by up to 80%. Many farms in the region produce and export fruit and vegetables, which require a lot of water to grow conventionally. Livestock farming must reduce its water consumption by 50% and industry by 25%, otherwise there is a risk of hefty fines of up to 150,000 euros.


As 55% of the water used in the region already comes from desalination or reprocessing plants, the Spanish government is not planning any stricter measures. It is investing millions in further plants of this kind.



It is the worst drought since records began around a century ago, explained Catalonia's regional president Pere Aragonès. Catalonia has had far too little rain in the last 40 months. According to experts, it would have to rain for 90 days for the groundwater level to recover.


According to the national weather service Aemet, the record-high temperatures would be "much less likely" without the climatic changes observed worldwide and in Spain. According to the data, the number of heatwaves in Spain has tripled in the past ten years. Other scientists are certain that the increased heatwaves are due to the climate crisis.


WMO: 2023 is the warmest year in history


Our pro.earth.conclusion:

Firstly, we urgently need to stop the climate crisis and, secondly, we urgently need to rethink our approach to agriculture and reduce our water consumption through alternative forms of cultivation.