Barcelona Receives Drinking Water from Sea Tankers
Typically Spanish (Málaga, Spain) 14may2008
The first boat to take drinking water into the city of Barcelona arrived in the city port yesterday morning. The ‘Sichem Defender’ brought in 19,000 cubic metres of water from Tarragona and Reus. It has been used as a test run to check that the facility can transfer the water correctly, with the water being removed over a 17 hour period.
A new boat will arrive tomorrow, this time bringing in water from Marseille in France, and later in the summer water from a desalination plant in Almería is planned to use the new port facility. As long as the alert remains in force for the city, as many as 35 boats will unload water at the port each month, with the regional government, La Generalitat, chartering a fleet of six vessels at a cost of 22 million € a month.
Water will also arrive via a new pipeline from Tarragona which is currently under construction. However a week of heavy rain has seen reservoir levels in the region recover considerably.
The latest rains in Cataluña mean that many residents in the Ter-Llobregat region can once again water their gardens and fill their swimming pools. It comes as local reservoirs inland have increased to 29% capacity. The region of Aragón has asked for the water transfer from Tarragona to be halted if the rains continue.
Elsewhere in Spain more rain in Andalucía has meant that farmers in the Guadalquivir valley can once again water their crops for the first time since October. Reservoirs in the region are up to 43% capacity.
However the Axarquía region in Málaga has been generally passed by recent rains and could see it being included in drought restrictions which have remained in force in the Guadalhorce valley since November 2005.
Water Shipped to Parched City
VICTORIA BURNETT / New York Times 14may2008
A boat loaded with drinking water docked in Barcelona on Tuesday, the first in a series of shipments to stave off shortages in the city. The shipments are part of a broad effort to alleviate the impact of the worst drought in the region of Catalonia in decades. Fountains and beach showers have been turned off in Barcelona, and residents have been told not to water their gardens. The government will charter ships through October if the drought does not end, a spokesman for the regional environment department said.