Science, Tech & Environment

Spain struggles with drought

Barcelona's water woes begin at the source of the city's drinking water: a reservoir about two hours inland from the coast, a manmade lake where the water level has dropped too much. It's become an oddity. Reservoirs throughout this northern region stand at just 23% of capacity. Regional officials have put in some tough restrictions to conserve what's left and it could get worse. One official warned this week that if reservoirs drop to 15% capacity then rationing on homes could begin. Meanwhile other regions are scrambling to make up. It's planning to bring in water in unusual ways. This region is mapping a vast plan of offshore water pipes and at the end of April they'll be ready to receive huge water tanker ships which will pump water into Barcelona's system, covering about 10% of the need. Spain's Environment Minister says diverting rivers in the north is not on the agenda. The EU discourages such practices citing the social problems it can create. This river is about a tenth of its normal size. He says the river is sick and you can see why. Two-thirds of this water gets siphoned off to Barcelona. This farmer says this Sunday the farmers will start fighting back.