Floods and droughts to hit Spain

Watch rivers of hail, torrential rain and strong winds batter Spain Image [email protected]

ECOLOGISTS IN ACTION presented a report today (December 10), to the Climate Summit in Paris that claims Spain has lost 20 per cent of its fresh water in the last 20 years and will face increased floods and droughts in the near future.

The Spanish organisation was keen to stress that these are not predications but real data representing an ongoing situation with Spain expected to have lost a full quarter of the fresh water it had in 1990 by 2021. 

Effects of climate change will not be evenly distributed across Spain but their social and economic impact will be heavily felt across the country according to the analysis. Santiago Martín Barajas, head of the group, warned that 20 per cent is simply an average and that ‘areas such as the Mediterranean basin have lost up to 40 per cent’.

Both floods and droughts may seem contradictory at first, but Spain is set to experience both higher temperatures and lower rainfalls, which will be a terrific burden on water resources management in a country highly dependent on irrigated crops. 

Meanwhile coastal areas will be at the mercy of the extreme weather conditions that are becoming more and more frequent. The Mediterranean coast, Canary Islands, and the Basque Country are the regions most at risk of exposure to extreme events, incidences of which could rise by as much as 70 per cent over the coming decades. 

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