WITH Andaucia suffering its longest drought in 50 years and Catalunya announcing a state of emergency, residents across Spain are increasingly fearful that draconian water cuts akin to the infamous drought of 1995 could return.
Reservoir levels in both regions are dwindling as low levels of rainfall and high temperatures continue to persist.
Almeria’s water reserves fell below 9% of their working capacity this week as further restrictions and additional investment were announced by local authorities throughout Spain.
Over 202 towns in Catalunya are set to be subject to restrictions limiting daily water consumption to just 200 litres, an amount which could be lowered if conditions continue to worsen.
Spanish website 20minutos.es spoke to several residents in Catalunya to discover how locals were reacting to news of the drought.
Joel Preseguer, a 28-year old teacher, said: “Honestly, I don’t believe in these kinds of limitations. I think that many other things should be eliminated first, such as tourism which should be limited. The rest for me is just propaganda”.
Rodrigo Rojas, a 36-year old professor, expressed the need for awareness: “If people were taught how to use water responsibly, there would be no restrictions”.
26-year old student Murat Koc says that he wouldn’t be dissuaded from having fun even if restrictions take hold this summer.
“We are in a complicated situation and people need to be aware of it. I would still go to the hotels even if there was no water in the pools”, he said.
However, administrator Nuria Andreu, 41, expressed view to the contrary: “If there was no water in the hotel pools, I wouldn’t like it,
because in summer what you want to do is bathe and cool down”.
Ot Gray, an 18-year old student, appeared in agreement, stating that “if they take away the public swimming pools in the summer, we’re going to die of heat”.
Roberta Boscaro, 47, suggested that residents in Catalunya could take holidays to Spain’s northern coast “where it’s not so hot”.
But Mario Rosas, a 26-year old computer scientist, is fearful that such measures could have a damaging impact on the economy.
“I would continue to go to hotels even if the pools were empty, but I still think that turnover could go down”.