Return to the exceptional stage of the drought protocol in Barcelona

The Government of Catalonia has decreed an end to the drought emergency (in place since February) in the municipalities supplied by the Ter-Llobregat water system. The alert level drops two stages, thanks to the recovery of water levels in reservoirs, which now stand at around 25%.

13/05/2024 - 12:52 h - Environment and sustainability Ajuntament de Barcelona

Water levels in reservoirs have risen by 10% since April and the Government of Catalonia estimates that even if it doesn’t rain, the exceptional stage could be maintained until the end of the year. Even so, Barcelona is still affected by the drought and the recommendation is for water-saving measures among the public to be maintained.

In this regard, municipal services are still applying measures. Parks and Gardens teams and cleaning units are using vehicles that carry water from the groundwater network, with small vans using tanks of 1,0000 litres to water garden and parterres and clean streets.

In addition, the change to the stage of the protocol means some changes to the measures in place in the city:

  • Watering: watering with safe water is prohibited in gardens and green spaces, whether public or private. Only subsistence watering is allowed for plants and trees: with a drip system or watering can between 8 pm and 8 am. At allotments, whether private or public, subsistence watering for trees and plants is allowed with minimal quantities of water, also from 8 pm to 8 am and with a drip system or watering can.
  • Swimming pools: refilling is only allowed with the minimum possible amount of water, for pools that have a water recirculation system, whether public or private, and without the need to be classified as a climate shelter. At schools, temporary pools with a capacity no greater than 500 litres can be partially or fully filled for infants to bathe in.

How are municipal services applying measures?

The city’s parks and gardens are still not being watered (lawns, meadows and seasonal plants), but subsistence watering resumes at nights with safe water for trees and bushes. The operation using groundwater continues during the mornings, allowing for a greater watering capacity around the city. This operation saves around 50% of safe water used for watering in the whole city.

As for municipal swimming pools, these all remain open as they use systems that recirculate water. They will also be included as climate shelters this simmer, applying the public pricing corresponding to each facility.  The water-saving measures adopted at municipal sports centres will remain in place.

For cleaning in the city, the exceptional stage of the protocol means that streets continue to be cleaned using only groundwater.

Besides the restrictions, which can be found at, people need to be aware of the need to cut water consumption and not to waste it in their daily activity. This page includes tips for saving water and reducing consumption in households by up to 30%.

More information