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Barcelona to impose water restrictions due to drought

Barcelona will impose water use restrictions such as banning swimming pools from being filled due to a drought affecting large parts of Spain, local officials said Tuesday.

The city and its surrounding area will as of Friday be put under a “drought alert”, joining other parts of the northeastern region of Catalonia.

“Months of little rain has forced us to take new decisions in order to minimise the consequences of this drought,” Patricia Plaja, the spokeswoman for the regional government of Catalonia, told reporters.

The alert imposes restrictions on water use for farmers, factories and livestock breeders, and bans using water to fill swimming pools.

There will be no water rationing for domestic use.

It is the first time since 2008 that a “drought alert” has been issued for Barcelona, Spain’s second largest city.

About 80 percent of Catalonia’s population of 7.7 million people will live in areas under a drought alert once it comes into effect on Friday.

“Catalonia will face longer and more intense periods of drought,” Plaja said.

October 2022 was the hottest month of October in Spain since records started in 1961, according to national weather agency AEMET.

The unusually warm October follows a summer in Spain and much of Europe marked by repeated heatwaves which fuelled wildfires and worsened drought conditions.

This has been the fourth driest year in Spain since records started being kept.

Between January and October the country received an average of 355 litres of rainfall per square metre — 26 percent less than the normal level, according to the weather agency.

Reservoirs in Spain were at 32.5 percent of their total capacity.