Water shortage: in Barcelona you can only wash your car with a sponge


Catalonia ‘s water reserves are below 33% after a year marked by a major drought and no rain in sight, the region’s government has launched a plan to limit water waste.


The new regulations require a 25% reduction in water consumption for irrigation of fields , 10% for livestock and 5% for industry . Each house will have a maximum daily consumption of 250 liters and the irrigation of public and private gardens can only take place in the hours with less sunshine, i.e. in the time slot from 8 in the evening to 8 in the morning, while in private gardens only two days a week.

Furthermore, private individuals cannot clean streets or the facades of their houses with water pipes, but only sponges or rags can be used. Municipalities themselves must follow a plan to use as little potable water as possible to clean the streets. Even car cleaning has limits: while car washes will only be able to operate if they have a recirculation system, private individuals will have to limit themselves to cleaning windows, mirrors, lights and number plates with a sponge.

Even the filling of swimming pools can only be partial in those with a recirculation system and in the quantities necessary to replace the water used to clean the filters. Those of new construction can only carry out the first filling.


These maneuvers, as reported by El Pais, affect a total of 6.6 million Catalans, about 85% of the region’s population. Over the past nine months, the Catalan Water Agency (Aca) has implemented measures to slow down the decline in water reserves.

  • In Barcelona there is no water: citizens will only be able to wash cars with a sponge (


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