Citizens could be fined for washing cars or watering gardens.

After months of warnings, authorities in Catalonia have declared a drought emergency.

The region is in the midst of the worst drought since records began.

From tomorrow (Friday), 80% of the Catalan population, including Barcelona, will be under strict water restrictions.

“We are entering a new climate reality,” Catalonia’s regional president Pere Aragonès said when announcing the emergency.

“It is more than likely we will see more droughts that will be both more intense and more frequent.”

What are Catalonia’s water restrictions?

Washing a car, watering a garden or filling a swimming pool could result in fines of up to €50. If a citizen in Barcelona committed a serious ‘water offence’, they could be fined up to €3,000. Things like washing a car are allowed with recycled water.

Drought Emergency Barcelona

The rules will apply to six million people in Barcelona and the 201 surrounding municipalities in northeastern Spain.

An already bad situation has worsened

Catalan authorities declared a state of pre-emergency in November last year. Now, high temperatures have reduced the already low water levels in reservoirs.

“Our reserves are below 16%. The drought emergency situation is critical in Barcelona and around Girona, so we have to take stronger measures,” Catalan government official Laura Vilagrà told Spanish radio station RNE on Wednesday.

The region’s almost 40-month-long lack of rain has exacerbated the situation.

Read more: euronews