MADRID — In the ten years to 2015, Spain’s population grew from about 43 million to more than 46 million. This population explosion greatly increased Spain’s demand for resources such as water. And since the country is provided with an abundance of clean drinking water, they have become accustomed to consuming large quantities. With a climate of high precipitation rates in all but the summer months, water quality in Spain is higher than in most other countries. Rainfall is the cleanest, most adequate form of drinking water.
However, Spain becomes adept to having such high quality of water, which leads to a high demand and standard of living. Each year, Spain extracts 26.6 billion cubic meters of surface water and 6.3 billion cubic meters of groundwater. In comparison, France generally extracts about 24.4 billion cubic meters of surface water and six billion cubic meters of groundwater per year. With such vast levels of use, finding means to preserve water quality in Spain is necessary.
Spain has seen recent developments of environmental policies and a rise in advocacy groups. An organization called ONGAWA aspires to improve the environment by implementing green technology in certain countries. Its main goal in Spain is to mobilize its citizens and get them engaged in the issue, especially on the topic of water.
Water quality in Spain cannot improve until its people witness how unsustainable their consumption is. Thus, in 2014, ONGAWA members created awareness by living for weeks on 50 liters of water because that the declared amount of water necessary for a healthy lifestyle by the Health World Organization.
Increased government investment in water quality in Spain will focus on treatment, reuse and desalination projects. It will also be used for projects that attempt to curb agricultural water usage and minimize its demand for water.
Another effort in Spain is known as the AGUA Program, which strives to gain more water from oceans and rivers by utilizing desalination and other efforts to purify it. By learning to create quality water out of ocean water, the project could prolong the sustainability of high demand for water.
These organizations and others aid water quality in Spain by bringing awareness to excessive water usage and to promoting technology to create more forms of clean water.
– Brianna White