Water quality in Spain impacted by drought and water shortages

Water quality in Spain impacted by drought and water shortages

Why is the taste of the tap water in Barcelona, Cordoba, Cadiz, Valencia and other places getting worse? What does this have to do with the current water crisis in Spain? 

In this article we will explore these topics and what you can about it.

Water Crisis in Spain

Spain is currently grappling with one of the worst droughts in its history¹²³⁴. The situation is particularly severe in Catalonia and Andalusia. Catalonia has declared a state of emergency due to its worst-ever drought⁴. Reservoirs have fallen to close to 16% of their capacity, affecting more than six million Catalans across 200 towns and cities, including Barcelona⁴. The drought has also hit other areas of the country, including Andalusia in the south and the eastern region of Valencia⁴.

La Moncloa. 06/04/2021. La reserva hídrica española se ...

Image: Water levels in 2021

La reserva hídrica española se encuentra al 45,2% de su ...

Image: Water levels in February 2024

Where in Spain the Water Shortage is Worst

The water shortage is most severe in Catalonia and Andalusia². In Catalonia, Barcelona and 200 other towns are in an official drought emergency². The European Drought Observatory's map shows the entire Spanish Mediterranean coast in bad shape, with red areas indicating an alert similar to those in North Africa and Sicily². Andalucía has faced continuous drought since 2016². Over 600 municipalities across Spain have implemented water restrictions to combat the historic drought conditions.

Impact of Low Water Levels in Reservoirs on Water Quality

Low water levels in reservoirs can significantly impact water quality⁶⁷⁸⁹. In the Sau reservoir in Catalonia, teams are working to remove fish before they die and rot in the water, making it unusable for human consumption⁸. The water level has dropped so low that there is already a risk the water will be contaminated by silt⁸. In some places in Catalonia, officials have turned to restricting water use among residents and farmers⁷.

The tap water in Cordoba, Andalucia primarily originates from local reservoirs such as La Colada. Due to the low water level and soil contamination there is now a high concentration of cyanobacteria. This makes the water from this reservoir unfit for human consumption impacting over 80,000 people lacking access to clean drinking water.

Improving Water Quality at Home

There are several ways households can improve the water quality at home during the water crisis. Installing a water filter is one of the most accessible and affordable ways to improve water quality. Water filters come in many different sizes, shapes, styles, and price points. They are one of the best investments you can make for your health¹³ and for the planet.

Tappwater offers several excellent water filter options including the EcoPro Faucet water filter and the PitcherPro glass filter jug. These filters improve the taste while also reducing the risk of contaminants in your drinking water, ensuring that you and your household have access to clean, safe water.

Remember to replace or maintain your water filters regularly to ensure their effectiveness¹². Other measures include flushing tap water before using it, cleaning out your faucet aerators, and being more water-conscious at home¹²¹³¹⁵.

Conclusion about water crisis impact on water quality Spain

The water crisis in Spain is a pressing issue that requires immediate attention and action. While authorities are working to address the situation, consumers can also play a part by taking steps to improve the water quality in their homes. By staying informed and taking proactive measures, we can all contribute to the solution.

Also read our recent article about how you can save water during the water crisis



(1) Water cuts latest: These are the towns in Spain’s Malaga that have introduced restrictions due to the ongoing drought. https://www.theolivepress.es/spain-news/2024/02/13/water-cuts-latest-these-are-the-towns-in-spains-malaga-that-have-introduced-restrictions-due-to-the-ongoing-drought/.
(2) What will Spain look like when it runs out of water? Barcelona is .... https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2024/feb/15/spain-water-barcelona-farmers-tourism-catalonia-drought.
(3) EU puts water resilience plan on hold as drought grips Spain, Italy. https://www.politico.eu/article/eu-put-water-resilience-plan-hold-drought-grip-spain-italy/.
(4) Catalonia: State of emergency declared as region faces worst ever ... - BBC. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-68167942.
(5) Where in Spain are there currently water restrictions?. https://www.thelocal.es/20230808/where-in-spain-are-there-currently-water-restrictions.
(6) Drought-stricken villages in Spain's northeast struggle to keep .... https://apnews.com/article/climate-drought-spain-villages-catalonia-791dd212ab85245cc95a45d5a49f91cd.
(7) Water rationed in Catalonia as drought bites deeper - Phys.org. https://phys.org/news/2023-04-rationed-catalonia-drought-deeper.html.
(8) Shrinking Reservoirs in Catalonia - NASA Earth Observatory. https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/151257/shrinking-reservoirs-in-catalonia.
(9) Climate change: Catalonia in grip of worst drought in decades. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-65129735.
(10) Farmers in 'water wars' in southern Spain as droughts threaten .... https://news.sky.com/story/farmers-in-water-wars-in-southern-spain-as-droughts-threaten-livelihoods-12671637.
(11) 10 Ways to Improve Drinking Water Quality - wikiHow. https://www.wikihow.com/Improve-Drinking-Water-Quality.
(12) 9 Easy Tips on How to Improve Water Quality in Your Home. https://phyxter.ai/blog/improve-the-quality-of-your-water.
(13) Simple Things You Can Do To Improve Water Quality in Your Home. https://www.dcwater.com/water-quality-home.
(14) Be more water-conscious at home with these easy steps - Reviewed. https://reviewed.usatoday.com/home-outdoors/features/water-quality-home-these-easy-steps.
(15) Spain faces threat of water crisis – Euractiv. https://www.euractiv.com/section/agriculture-food/news/spain-faces-threat-of-water-crisis/.
(16) en.wikipedia.org. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_quality.



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