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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Rain Relieves Barcelona Drought - a little

It's been raining in Barcelona for much of the last two weeks and more rain is forecast for the coming 10 days. The region welcomes the water-filled skies with open arms, open mouths, and open umbrellas. And with good reason! Barcelona is in a full-scale drought alert. Many reservoirs are at 20% capacity, decorative city fountains have been turned off, and water prices have risen substantially. Bars and restaurants are even charging for tap water.

Today was the first day that Barcelona began receiving shipments of water from the Spanish city of Tarragona by way of Panamanian-flagged tanker ships. Future ships will come from southern France. This will help quench the thirsty residents of Barcelona. But this is just the beginning of 3-months of such water tankers to dock in Barcelona's Port. However great this shipment appears to be, it will only provide Barcelona with a tiny 6% of their monthly water consumption.

But the ships are only a small part of a bigger solution. Roughly 180 Million Euros is being spent to construct a water pipeline from the Ebro River to bring water to Barcelona until a desalination plant - which would be the largest in Europe - is constructed in May 2009.

Let's all hope the rains continue in Catalonia/Catalunya/Cataluña. We all enjoy a green Barcelona and our human cells need H2O too!