Barcelona Ships in Water

Posted: April 4th, 2008 by: h-2

This story is worth notice because this patterns is going to start repeating more and more often. Barcelona’s water supplies are dangerously low, forcing the town to begin to literally ship in water. Water is something that we just don’t think that much about, but supplies are getting stretched further and further as we heat up the planet and increase the population.

Boats will from next month bring fresh water from other parts of Spain and neighbouring France to Barcelona to help the city deal with the region’s worst drought in decades
Water reserves across Spain have dropped to 46.6 percent of capacity, a 20 percentage point drop over the level recorded a decade ago.

The situation is especially critical in the northeastern region of Catalonia, whose capital is Barcelona, where water reserves at just 19 percent of capacity.

If they drop below 15 percent, the water from the dams cannot be used as it is too close to the bottom and will have too much sediment.

What’s most interesting about this story is what the article does not refer to. Which is, besides the drought, the massive rise in population and, probably even more critical, water consumption in general, over the last 10 years.

Barcelona has become since the early 90’s a smallish New York style international European city, with huge numbers of gidis (foreigners) moving there to enjoy the laid back life and European style.

I lived in Barcelona in the early 90’s, and then again briefly in 1998, and already then, you could see how dry the surrounding countryside was getting. The soil was becoming more and more like dust, and all the water was being walled in and routed to often illegal towns springing up all along the Costa Brava, summer houses usually for British and Germans, who of course never bothered to even think about things like water, or anything else about where they actually were, caring only to feed their obsession with living by the beach.

Global warming is already starting to push the desert line up north from the Sahara, and it’s actually beginning to encroach on Barcelona itself, in terms of increasing aridity. In other words, what they are calling a drought might very well be the way things are going to be headed.

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