Reservoirs without water, expansive desert–like fields, lost crops, and wildfires. These are all symptoms of the persistent drought in Spain. The reservoirs are at their lowest levels since the 1990s. Those along the Segura river, which flows through Albacete, Murcia, Alicante and Almería, have reached alarming lows.
The European Environment Agency published a report early this year warning about the impact that climate change would have on the Mediterranean region of the continent, which is more exposed to global warming.
Many of these effects are already underway: reduced rainfall, wildfires, and heat waves that increase demand for air conditioning. The reservoirs at the head of the Tagus River are also at rock-bottom levels. Residents who live near the Entrepeñas and Buendía reservoirs, in Guadalajara province, want to protect their most precious asset.
But droughts are not just a Spanish problem. It is spreading all over the world. According to the United Nations, by 2050 at least a quarter of the planet's population will live in countries with a scarcity of this vital resource.
English version by Debora Almeida.