Severe Spanish drought sparks regional water stoush - The WORST DROUGHT IN DECADES in Spain is leading to regional disputes over scarce water resources, with areas with more reserves resisting transfers to more parched zones. There has been 40% less rain than normal across the country since the meteorological year began on October 1. "We can say it is the most severe drought in 40 years." In the traditionally drier Mediterranean regions, a lack of rain over the last 18 months means this is the worst drought since 1912. The drought has hurt crops and hydro-electric power production as water reserves have dropped to 46.6 per cent of capacity. The situation is especially critical in the north-eastern region of Catalunya, whose capital is Barcelona. Water reserves in the region of some seven million people are at just 19 per cent of their capacity. If they drop below 15 per cent, the water from the dams cannot be used, as it is too close to the bottom and will have too much sediment. "The forecast for the next three months is not very optimistic. The precipitation is expected to be normal or slightly below normal." Alarmed by the situation, the local Government wants to divert water from the river Segre, a tributary of the gigantic Ebro, to Barcelona. But the Government of the neighbouring region of Aragon, through which the Ebro flows, opposed the plan.
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