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Valencia to Ship Water to Catalonia if Drought Continues

The governments of Catalonia, Valencia and Spain have reached an agreement to devise a plan to ship water from Valencia to Catalonia as a way to provide partial help to the worsening drought crisis affecting the Mediterranean region.

The idea is to have boats transport desalinated water from the Sagunt plant (in the Valencian Region) to Barcelona daily in the summer if the drought situation does not abate.

Last week, Catalan authorities declared a drought emergency in the Ter-Llobregat water system, which supplies some 80% of the region’s population with water. The emergency includes various restrictions on individual, municipal, business and agricultural consumption of water.

The plan was agreed between the three authorities in a bid to do something about the chronic drought situation, which has desiccated Catalonia in the past two and a half years.

Spain will cover the costs of production of the water, while Catalonia will pay for it to be transported from Sagunt. In essence, this would mean sending seven cubic hectometers (or 23 million litres) of the precious liquid every day in tanker ships during the hottest months of the year.

For his part, the Valencian president, Carlos Mazón, has said that he will make it easier for water from the Sagunt desalination plant to be sent to Barcelona.

Mr Mazon stated that this is a question of “water solidarity”, which might be a term that we all have to get used to in the coming future. However, the Valencian president also wanted guarantees that the water shipping plan would not impact the water supply in Valencia itself.