- Water shortage ratio in 2020: 31.82
- Projected water shortage ratio in 2040: 35.98
The possibility of more frequent droughts fueled by climate change puts Barcelona’s water supply in jeopardy, as drought has done for years.
In 2008, the driest year in Spain on record, reservoir supplies for Barcelona plummeted, forcing the city to import water from France. Following another nationwide drought in 2017, Barcelona implemented a drought protocol that provided planned actions to take for various scenarios that “optimize water without restricting basic services, such as reducing water pressure and substituting safe water with groundwater for watering parks and gardens, street cleaning, and other uses,” according to Info Barcelona.
The city also adopted its Climate Action Plan with initiatives to mitigate water shortages and, according to Circle of Blue, has plans to modernize its water system. At the same time, water usage in the city and Spain overall has declined from 2008 to 2016, in part due to system repairs to decrease leakage, efficiency updates for households, and behavioral changes.