Catalonia's water situation requires urgent attention. In the third year of drought and well into autumn, we find ourselves with the historic minimum level of the reservoir system that supplies the metropolitan region. Our generation has not experienced a drought of this intensity and breadth.
However, we are not in a situation that is new to us, nor does it appear to us out of the blue. This situation is repeated and will in all probability intensify as a result of global warming. That is why there is no excuse for not being prepared to face it.
Since the drought of 2008, we have had two key infrastructures that have delayed the effects of the lack of rain: the Prat desalination plant and the Baix Llobregat water regenerator. They currently contribute 33% and 25% respectively of the water consumed by the metropolitan area. In this way, until today, only a part of the citizens have suffered supply restrictions. Mostly, the agricultural sector.
Weather forecasts offer no cause for optimism and the arrival of greater restrictions is imminent, affecting domestic, industrial and environmental endowments.
The restrictions have been delayed by a few months thanks to the aforementioned infrastructures. But since its completion more than a decade ago, and framed in not inconsiderable financial difficulties, there have been no new actions that have increased either the water resources or the resilience of the system. It is for this reason that, although there are solutions and many are planned, the lack of implementation is leading us to a water crisis worse than the one in 2008.
In May of this year, Parliament approved the law on extraordinary and urgent measures to deal with the drought. This law identified a series of urgent actions, many of which have not yet started and which we encourage to speed up.
The group of professionals that we represent, who have a deep knowledge of the technical, economic and environmental aspects of water, express our desire to contribute to solving this situation and at the same time our concern for the lack of more determined action and agile by the bodies that have to authorize and execute the Parliament's mandate.
The only positive conclusion we can hope for is that all the agents involved realize that it is time for long-term solutions, such as reuse and desalination, solutions that offer resources regardless of the weather. The modernization of irrigation, which has a wide range to increase its efficiency, essential to guarantee a certain food sufficiency. The interconnection of networks, which increases the resilience of interconnected systems. As well as numerous actions on a smaller scale, but critical for population centers in inner Catalonia.
The infrastructures, the increase in efficiencies and the resilience of systems are key pieces that will allow us to offer citizens and the productive sectors water security essential for social, economic and environmental development. What is the alternative to not having water? There is not. There is also no alternative to facing debates and political decisions about water management that require knowledge, consensus and courage.