Sun, 24 Sep 2023

MADRID, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- Several regions in Spain have introduced restrictions on water use as high temperatures and scarcity of rainfall have left the country's reservoirs at just over 40 percent capacity.

The situations are worse in many southern and southwestern regions of Spain, with reservoirs at 29 percent of capacity in Andalusia and 33 percent in neighboring Extremadura.

The country is in its third heatwave since mid-June and the exceptionally hot summer shows no sign of ending. The Spanish Meteorological Agency (AEMET) earlier this week predicted that August, September and October are likely to be hotter and drier than average.

"Temperatures will be higher than normal," Ruben del Campo, AEMET spokesperson said at a press conference. The first half of August would see temperatures in the north and center of Spain up by "3-6 degrees centigrade above average," he added.

The regional government in Catalonia has limited the use of water to 200 liters per person per day in 150 different municipalities, with regional leader Pere Aragones asking citizens to "make rational use of water to stop the effects of drought getting worse."

Holidaymakers around Malaga will no longer be able to take a shower when they leave the beach as the water has been cut at the beaches in the resorts of Rincon de la Victoria and Velez-Malaga.

Nighttime water restrictions have also been cut in 10 municipalities around Huelva (south-west Spain), while there are major worries about this year's avocado and olive crops due to the exceptionally dry conditions. Water supplies have been cut too during the night in the Antequera region.

In Extremadura, an increasing number of towns have forbidden watering gardens, filling private swimming pools, cleaning cars or cleaning the streets.

Even parts of Spain that usually receive abundant rainfalls are feeling the effects of the lack of water, with the towns of Poio, Sanxenxo, Marin, Bueu and Pontecaldelas advising residents to prepare for possible cuts to water supplies during the night, while in the province of Ourense, residents have been forbidden to use water for anything other than cooking and personal hygiene.

The Basque regional government has also warned that unless it rains soon, some towns face restrictions on the use of water at night, while watering gardens, cleaning cars and other non-essential water use have been forbidden.

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