Catalan Water Agency director criticizes lack of drought awareness in urban areas

Barcelona to be placed in most serious state of emergency in first half of January

Samuel Reyes, the director of the Catalan Water Agency (ACA)
Samuel Reyes, the director of the Catalan Water Agency (ACA) / Redacció
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

December 28, 2023 11:58 AM

December 28, 2023 12:09 PM

The director of the Catalan Water Agency (ACA), Samuel Reyes, has criticized the lack of awareness in Catalan cities about the severe drought affecting the region.

"We are experiencing the worst drought of the century and we live in the cities as if it did not exist," he said in an interview with the Catalan News Agency (ACN).

Reyes criticized the fact that people in urban areas only became aware of the emergency when it was proposed to ban showers in gyms.

"After agriculture has suffered cuts of 50 to 100%, urban society becomes aware when it comes to gyms, ships or Barcelona. It is hard to believe," he added.

Reyes said agriculture "can no longer achieve further savings" and called for further measures to ensure that "no industry consumes more than its share and no city exceeds its consumption limits."

At the end of November, the Ter-Llobregat system, the largest in Catalonia, entered a pre-emergency phase and could be placed in the most serious state of emergency in the first half of January, Reyes confirmed.  

Regarding the arrival of water by ships, Reyes explained that this will only happen if it does not rain in March and April. In any case, the water, which would come mainly from Tarragona, would not arrive until June.

To learn more about the ongoing drought in Catalonia and future water restrictions, listen to this episode of our podcast Filling the Sink, where we spoke with farmers and climate activists to assess the situation.