According to Associated Press, Barcelona and large swathes of Spain’s northeast are going under water restrictions as a months-long drought that has devastated crops starts to put the pinch on human activities in the Mediterranean country.

“The measures will affect 6.7 million people – 80 percent of the population in the Catalonia region” – Patrícia Plaja, spokesperson for the Catalan administration, said on Tuesday.

Plaja added that, for now, it will not be necessary to limit the use of water inside homes for washing, cooking or drinking, but her government urged citizens to “be aware of the exceptional situation the country is facing.”

The measures, which take effect on Friday will include reductions in water for the irrigation of crops and industry.

City dwellers won’t be permitted to use drinking water to wash the exterior of houses or cars or to fill swimming pools.

picture of 2 different spots in Catalonia, Spain which shows a dry season
An 11th century Romanesque church partially exposed in a reservoir in Vilanova de Sau, Catalonia, Spain, on 20 June 2022, and the same spot on 18 November.
Photo by Emilio Morenatti / AP photo

Over 500 town halls, including Barcelona, must stop filling public fountains or cleaning streets with drinking water.

Below average rainfall that experts have linked to global climate change has shrunk reservoirs, damaging agriculture and the environment across Spain.

Barcelona now becomes the second major city in Spain to limit water use after Seville did so with similar measures in September following an extremely dry, hot summer.


Photo: Albert Gea / Reuters