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Spain’s Seville, Malaga, and Cordoba likely to face water restrictions this summer

Drought has already subtracted one point from Andalusia’s GDP, says its president

Major cities in Spain’s Andalusia region can expect water restrictions this summer if rainfall trends do not change dramatically, the region’s president announced on Thursday.

“To even make it through the summer, we would need 30 days of abundant rain in a row,” said Juanma Moreno. “It is very likely that we’ll start the summer with restrictions in big cities like Seville, Malaga, and Cordoba.”

After a meeting on the region’s drought, he said the dry conditions have already subtracted one point from the region’s GDP.

“We are in an extreme situation. This isn’t about causing alarm, it’s about being realistic. We all have to make a huge effort to reduce water consumption,” he said in an appeal to citizens to “save every drop.”

He called for both the Spanish government and the European Union to get more involved, as Andalusia is a major agricultural producer that exports food to around 500 million people.

Addressing the media, Moreno also announced €200 million ($217 million) in aid for the region to address the “emergency.” Some of that money will be used to facilitate ships to bring in drinking water and improve water pipes and reuse.

José Luis San, the mayor of Seville, also announced the city is already studying cutting water pressure at nighttime after Easter week.

Andalusia, Spain’s largest region located in the south, is home to around 8.5 million people.

Currently, its water reserves are just 20% full, according to Spain’s environment ministry. Over the last 10 years, the average level has been 51% for this time of year.

Catalonia is one of the other areas of Spain most affected by the long-term drought. Much of that region is already under water restrictions, which are set to become tighter as the government prepares an emergency declaration.