Not a drop from the tap: Spain is heading towards a drought emergency

The villagers saw the water getting dirty. “If you put it in a bucket or a bottle it was cloudy, as if there was mud in it,” says one of the people who come to fill his bottles.

The tanker is an urgent necessity, because the water in the supermarket also ran out. Another resident complains that the government should take action sooner. “When the water runs out, it’s too late.”

“It’s the first time I’ve seen this,” says Richard Hogenkamp, ​​Spain correspondent for RTL News. Closely monitors drought related developments. Hogenkamp: “In Spain, the saying goes:“ April, aguas mil ”, roughly translated: a thousand times more water in April, which means it rains incessantly. But this is not the case at all this year. In many areas there has been no drop He fell “. Some meteorologists fear a national emergency.

Many restrictions on water use

In 14 percent of the country, the warning phase is already in effect due to drought, which is exceptionally early. This means that millions of people are not allowed to wash their cars or water their gardens. The number of regions with the warning phase is expected to increase rapidly. And that restrictions on water use will become more stringent.

Spain has been dealing with low rainfall and high temperatures for three years now. The heat ensures that the water that falls evaporates very quickly. It has serious consequences, for example for agriculture. Growing fruit, grape wine and olives is very difficult.

bad harvest

Other crops are also threatened. Hogenkamp: “A lot of grain is grown in central Spain. It has to grow now, so that it can be removed from the ground in the summer. But because of the drought, the grain does not grow well, so there are concerns about the harvest. It could lead to the grain yield being halved compared to years the other.”

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Hogenkamp is in regular contact with meteorologists in the areas hardest hit by the drought. They say it can become really problematic. Of course, nothing changes like the weather. But if it stays dry, these meteorologists fear a national emergency in the summer.

Criticism of the government

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez also warned in Parliament last week of the dangers of drought, though he does not use the word emergency.

Prime Minister Sanchez is under fire for dehydration. His government is accused of mismanaging the water, says correspondent Richard Hoogenkamp: “There is criticism from regional governments and agricultural organizations of the Spanish government, which in the last two years has had more than 100 dams and dams demolished to prevent fish from getting stuck behind them. Now farmers and regional administrators say: what The government should have done that. We could have used the water reservoirs that those dams and dams created against drought.

Of course, after sunrise comes the rain, to reflect the well-known saying. But not now. on the contrary. After the weekend, it will be unprecedentedly hot in Spain. With temperatures up to 39 degrees Celsius. “The second half of the week it will be warm, as usual at the end of June,” says Hogenkamp. “So any remaining water will evaporate faster.”

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