GlobalBarcelona will install a floating desalination plant to combat drought in northeastern...

Barcelona will install a floating desalination plant to combat drought in northeastern Spain

Spain’s drought-stricken region of Catalonia will install a floating desalination plant to help the city of Barcelona guarantee its drinking water supply, regional authorities said Thursday.

Barcelona already relies on Europe’s largest desalination plant for domestic use to offset more than three years of below-average rainfall that has caused a historic drought worsened by climate change.

Now, Spain’s second largest city will have a second temporary desalination plant in its port by the end of this year.

David Mascort, director of the regional environmental authority, said that the plant should begin operations in October. It will produce the equivalent of 6% of the city’s consumption, compared to almost a quarter of the city’s water currently produced by Barcelona’s permanent desalination plant.

Barcelona uses desalination and water purification systems to cover its water needs. The reservoirs that serve 6 million people in central and northern Catalonia, including Barcelona, ​​are at 18% of their capacity.

Despite the help of spring rains, Catalonia has maintained restrictions under a water emergency declared in February. Those limitations include a daily limit of 200 liters (approximately 53 gallons) per person for domestic use and reductions in average water use by 80% for crop irrigation, 50% for livestock animals and 25% for the industry.

Mascort said the additional drinking water should help avoid, or at least delay, the need for stricter water restrictions in the fall. He added that the floating desalination plant will make unnecessary the additional transportation of water by boats, as initially planned.

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