THE Catalan regional government agreed the terms of a deal on Monday with the central administration in Madrid that will see water brought to Barcelona by boat in a bid to combat the ongoing drought in the area.
The lack of water saw emergency measures put into place in Catalunya last week, including a ban on watering public parks and a 20% reduction in agricultural irrigation.
Catalonia has been suffering its most serious drought on record for the last three years now, and the boat plan will go into action should the situation not improve beyond this spring.
The two administrations have been working since April to find solutions to the problem, according to Spanish daily El País.
In some areas of the region, it has not rained for three years, according to the Catalan regional premier, Pere Aragones.
Under the agreement, the central government will pay for the production of desalinated water at a plant in Sagunto, Valencia, while the Catalan regional government will pay for the shipping.
According to the central government, the plant in Valencia produces eight cubic hectometres of water a year, which is 10% of its capacity.
In 12 hours, it could turn out 20,000 cubic metres of water, which could then be transported to Barcelona. This amount would represent a third of the consumption of the city, according to El Pais.
The deal was reached by one of Spain’s deputy prime ministers, Teresa Ribera, and the region’s climate action chief, David Mascort, who met in Barcelona.
The pair also agreed to unblock financing for new desalination plants in the Catalunya region.
Water reserves in Catalunya fell last week below 16%, prompting the emergency declaration.
Other measures that went into force include the closure of showers on the beach and ornamental fountains. The restrictions are due to stay in place for at least the next 15 months.
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