The Riudecanyes reservoir at 19% and the Tarragona aquifer in a normal situation

The Catalan Water Agency (ACA) has reviewed the situation of drought in the internal basins and has declared a hydrological alert in the Fluvià Muga aquifer, which supplies a total of 22 municipalities in the Alt Empordà. With this one, they are nine areas of Catalonia in this situation, one of them in the province of Tarragona.

The decision has been made after verifying that the groundwater body has suffered a constant drop in level in recent months to stand at 15.4 meters above sea level. The entry into force of this new scenario will be effective when the resolution is published in the DOGC, scheduled for the end of this week. Thereafter, a series of limitations on the use of water will apply.

Among them, the reduction for agricultural irrigation (25%), for livestock uses (10%), for industrial uses (5%), for recreational uses that involve irrigation (30%) and other recreational uses (5%).

Regarding domestic use, restrictions are set for certain urban uses that all municipalities must comply with, such as limitations on the irrigation of gardens and green areas, the prohibition of filling ornamental fountains, the prohibition of private cleaning of streets with water from network, the limitations on the filling of swimming pools, the limitation on the cleaning of vehicles, among others. A maximum of 250 liters of water consumption per supply per inhabitant per day is also set.

With this, there will now be nine areas of the internal basins that are on alert, together with the units of the Carme Capellades, the headwaters of the Ter, the Llobregat Mitjà, the Anoia Gaià, the Empordà, Banyoles, the Cordillera Transversal and Prades-Llaberia.

Once the Fluvià Muga aquifer enters the alert scenario, there will be in the internal basins of Catalonia a total of 301 municipalities that are in a situation of alert due to droughtwhich represents a population close to 700,000 inhabitants (about 10% of the population of Catalonia).

The rest of the units, on pre-alert

As for the Ter Llobregat system, with its reserves at 37%, it continues in the pre-alert scenario, as is also the case with the Darnius Boadella reservoir (34%), Riudecanas (19%) and within the scope of the Tarragona Water Consortium (CAT).

It should be noted that the drought thresholds are variable and entry into a scenario is determined based on the accumulated hectometers and the time of year. Therefore, the entry into alert has a different threshold in August and September, calculated based on the needs and demands of each moment and are measured in cubic hectometers of the total reservoir capacity of each network or system. The Baix Ter and Tarragona aquifers are the only ones of the internal basins that will remain in a normal situation.

The desalination plants, to the maximum

With the current situation, the desalination plants continue to operate at 90% of their capacity, which represents an average production of 5.4 hm3 per month since January.

Since February, the Catalan desalination plants have notably increased the level of water production and from February to the end of October they have produced a volume of more than 47 hm3 of new water, which has slowed down the decline in reserves. Without their contribution, today the reservoirs would be 7 points below.

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