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Northeastern Spain’s Catalonia region declared a drought emergency in 24 municipalities following a severe lack of rain in recent years.
Restrictions put in place as part of the emergency principally affected agricultural and industrial water usage but not drinking water, Catalonia Water Agency Director Samuel Reyes said at a news conference.
The measures came into force and affected 22 towns in Alt Empordà, Spain’s most northeastern county, and two towns just south of Barcelona, the regional capital. The municipalities have a combined population of 26,000, the agency said.
Irrigation water for agriculture was reduced by 80% and supplies for industrial use by 25%. Filling swimming pools and watering gardens and parks were prohibited. The emergency restrictions also banned the filling of public fountains and using fresh water to wash cars.
The towns also had their per capita water allocations reduced from 230 liters (61 gallons) per day to 200 liters (about 53 gallons). The supplies were intended for residential uses, such as washing, and public services, such as street cleaning.
The Catalonia Water Agency said residents normally use 116 liters (about 31 gallons) of water daily, and Reyes urged people to try to reduce that to 90 liters (about 24 gallons).
Catalonia has been one of the regions hardest hit by a drought affecting much of Spain for the past two years. Parts of Catalonia and the Andalusia region in southern Spain already adopted less-stringent limits on water use because of the drought.
Spain’s Ecological Transition Ministry said that reservoirs nationally were at 42% of their capacity.
This article was provided by The Associated Press.