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Catalonia makes drought plans


If you're planning to stay at a hotel with a swimming pool in Barcelona next summer, be ready to share the cooling waters with locals seeking refuge from an ongoing drought. As part of its plans for dealing with the drought, Catalonia has authorized towns in the region to open hotel and apartment complex pools as 'climate refuges.'

The action was taken last week by the regional government, which also ordered all towns to take a census of places and facilities it will make available as 'climate shelters' as meteorologists are predicting another sweltering summer along with the water shortage.

If towns find they don't have enough capacity, they will open the hotel and residential pools to the public; if owners refuse, they will not be allowed to fill their pools. Hotels will also have to keep guest water usage to drought emergency levels of 90 to 115 litres per day, depending on how bad the drought is.

Barcelona, the region's largest city, declared a drought emergency in February after three years of below-average rainfall left reservoirs low. The city has also contracted for a floating desalination plant that will be anchored in the city's harbor. The plant, which can produce 6% of the city's water needs, is on a five-year lease.

Image: View from Hotel Ohla, Barcelona (Gary Ullah/Wikimedia Commons)

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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