Catalonia will prohibit filling swimming pools in hotels and campsites due to the drought, anticipating a difficult summer

The Government plans to declare this Thursday the drought emergency in Barcelona and its metropolis.

Catalonia will prohibit filling swimming pools in hotels and campsites due to the drought, anticipating a difficult summer

The Government plans to declare this Thursday the drought emergency in Barcelona and its metropolis


Starting today, Catalonia will restrict the filling of swimming pools in hotels, campsites and water parks with the entry into force of the drought emergency phase, planned for Barcelona and its metropolitan area. Pools with seawater may be filled completely or partially as long as they are filled and emptied without connection to the supply or sanitation networks.

It has also been approved that, once the emergency phase is entered, the use of beach showers will be prohibited. Last summer some municipalities such as Sitges (Barcelona) already applied this measure, while others did not.

This decision could be a setback for the tourism sector heading into the summer. Hoteliers have already warned that given the looming uncertainty, customers will try to choose another destination to enjoy their vacation where they can have access to a swimming pool.

The vice president of the Generalitat, Laura Vilagrà, has guaranteed that "mouth water will not be lacking" even if it is necessary to resort to "means that have never been done in Catalonia", and has ruled out the possibility of cutting off the supply to hotel infrastructures. if the situation continues over time.

The Government plans to declare a drought emergency in the Ter-Llobregat system, which supplies Barcelona and its metropolitan area and also Girona and its surroundings, at this Thursday's extraordinary meeting of the Interdepartmental Drought Commission, given the current situation. of the reservoirs due to the lack of rain, and a total of 202 municipalities that were in pre-emergency will be affected.

As provided for in the Special Drought Plan, the state of emergency will be declared when the reservoirs of the Ter-Llobregat system reach 100 cubic hectometers, which is around 16% of their capacity.

Currently, the Ter-Llobregat reservoirs are at 99.75 cubic hectometers and 16.30% of their capacity, and the same sources from the Catalan Water Agency (ACA) consulted this Wednesday by Europa Press have explained that although the percentage is above 16%, what counts to declare the emergency are cubic hectometers, which are already below the threshold of 100.

The same sources have recalled that in Catalonia there are already 37 municipalities in a state of emergency due to drought, which belong to the exploitation units of Riudecanyes, Darnius-Boadella and Fluvià-Muga, and Vallirana (Barcelona), which depends on the Anoia-Gaià system and it is in an emergency after being requested by the City Council itself.

After this Thursday's meeting, an appearance is scheduled by the Minister of Climate Action of the Generalitat, David Mascort, and the Government spokesperson, Patrícia Plaja, to report on the changes and evaluate the effects.

At a press conference this Tuesday, Plaja assured that "clear and concise" instructions will be given to the entire population and the economic sectors affected and that the change of status will come into force when it is published in the Official Gazette of the Generalitat of Catalonia. (Dogc), which could be this Friday.

The Special Drought Plan provides for 3 phases of the state of emergency: in phase 1, water use will be limited to 200 liters per inhabitant per day, to 180 in phase 2 and to 160 liters per inhabitant per day.

As for filling swimming pools, gyms and sports clubs with indoor pools registered in the Generalitat's sports equipment census may do so, as well as those open year-round for federated sports, with limitations: in state 1 they must compensate with partial closure of showers; In 2, if the pool is kept open, the showers must be closed; and in 3 the showers will have to be closed, whether there is a pool or not.

Federated sports that require irrigation, such as football, in phase 1 will be able to irrigate the fields but must compensate for the water consumption with showers; in 2 if they want to water they must close showers; and in 3 the showers must be closed; and it is expected that campsites, hotels and neighborhood communities will not be able to fill their pools in a state of emergency.

The Drought Plan also provides that in state of emergency 1 and 2, botanical gardens and trees and plants can be watered for their survival but with regenerated or groundwater water, as long as it is to preserve climatic refuges; and the complete or partial filling of artificial lakes or ornamental fountains is prohibited, except for ponds that serve for the "recovery of native or at-risk species" and doing so with regenerated or groundwater water.

Cleaning of any type of vehicle is also prohibited, except if done in vehicle cleaning businesses with a water recirculation system; the use of showers or foot cleaning facilities on beaches; and activities such as temporary ice rinks or foam parties and the like.

Other measures involve reducing the ecological flows of the Muga rivers from 135 liters per second to 40, in the Ter from 2,000 to 600 and in the Llobregat from 500 to 250; and there will be a moratorium on the start-up of economic activities that require high water use in the municipality in which they are installed.