Spain is currently experiencing one of its worst droughts in decades, with the effects being felt particularly in Barcelona and the northeast region of Catalonia.
Lack of rainfall has caused reservoirs to run dry, leaving Catalonia's 7.7 million residents suffering the effects of 32 months of drought. The situation has been worsened by climate change, with droughts becoming more frequent and intense.
Spain's reservoirs, including those in Catalonia, have shrunk to just 27% of their capacity, prompting the government to issue warnings of a potential "drought emergency" in September.
To make matters worse, fines may soon be introduced for cities that use too much water.
Despite efforts to preserve water quality, Barcelona and other towns and villages are already feeling the effects of the drought, with some places under water rationing for months. As the situation continues to worsen, it is crucial that residents of Catalonia and other affected areas take steps to conserve water.
In this article, we offer 19 tips for saving water during a drought, from small adjustments to daily routines like brushing teeth, to more significant changes like collecting rainwater for later use.
By following these tips, not only can we help alleviate the strain on our water supply, but we can also save money on our utility bills.
1. Fix leaky taps and pipes immediately to prevent unnecessary water waste.
2. Install low-flow showerheads and tap aerators to reduce water usage without sacrificing pressure.
3. Take shorter showers and consider turning off the water while soaping up or shampooing.
4. Use a bucket to catch cold shower water while waiting for it to warm up, and use it to water plants or flush the toilet.
5. Don't leave the tap running unnecessarily, such as when brushing your teeth or washing your face. Instead, turn off the tap when you don't need it, and only turn it on when necessary.
6. Only run the dishwasher and washing machine when they're full to save water and energy.
7. Consider using a broom instead of a hose to clean outdoor areas like patios and driveways.
8. Use a pool cover to reduce water evaporation from swimming pools.
9. Water plants early in the morning or later in the evening to minimise evaporation.
10. Use drought-resistant plants in your landscaping, and mulch around plants and trees to help retain moisture in the soil.
11. Use a bucket instead of a hose to wash your car, or take it to a commercial car wash that recycles water.
12. Keep a pitcher of drinking water in the fridge instead of running the tap until it's cold.
13. Consider installing a rainwater harvesting system such as a water butt to collect and use rainwater for watering plants or flushing toilets.
14. Check with your local water provider to see if they offer any rebates or incentives for water-saving appliances.
15. Use a spray bottle to mist indoor plants instead of pouring water directly into the pot.
16. Choose water-efficient appliances when it's time to replace old ones, such as toilets, showerheads, and washing machines.
17. Only flush the toilet when you really have to.
18. If washing up in the sink, use a full sink of water and wait until you have a full load of dishes before washing.
19. Fix dripping taps and leaking pipes promptly to prevent unnecessary water waste.
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