Drought reaches ‘exceptional’ levels in northeast Spain and empties reservoirs

Drought reaches 'exceptional' levels in northeast Spain and empties reservoirs

Dangerously low water levels in northeast Spain.Piyaset/shutterstock

Drought in Spain’s northeast reached “exceptional” levels last month, threatening the supply of drinking water for six million people in Barcelona’s metropolitan area

A clear example of this is the village of Vilanova de Sau, an hour north of Barcelona, which was flooded in the 1960s to create a reservoir, meaning the medieval church of Sant Romà disappeared from view.

In the past thirty years, the church’s bell tower has broken the surface several times as a reminder of Spain’s fragile water resources.

Today however the church’s tower, its nave and the building’s foundations are all exposed, a stark warning of how far water levels have receded. The area has attracted tourists, intrigued by the reappearance of this ancient ghost village, in a report by The Independent.

The Sau reservoir’s water levels now stand at 9 per cent of total capacity, according to Catalan Water Agency data, so officials have decided to remove its fish to stop them from dying. But the race against time to save them may already be too late, with many dead fish already floating on the surface.

The remaining water in the basin is being diverted to another reservoir nearby to stop the water quality from deteriorating.

Last week Spain’s weather agency, Aemet officially announced a period of long-term drought, owing to high temperatures and low rainfall over the past three years.

But in Catalonia, the situation is critical, as average reservoir levels are around 27 per cent of their capacity. There are restrictions on agricultural and industrial water use, and it is forbidden to use drinking water for washing cars or filling swimming pools.

Meanwhile, Spain as a whole has warmed 1.3 degrees Celsius (2 Fahrenheit) since the 1960s, something that is noticeable all year round but especially in summer, when average temperatures have risen by 1.6 degrees.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article, do remember to come back and check The
Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and
remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals. When he's not writing for EWN he enjoys gigging in a acoustic duo, looking after their four dogs, four chickens, two cats, and cycling up mountains very slowly.