The celebration of World Water Day on Thursday 22nd March in Spain coincided with a drought that highlights the need to save more water.
Concern is focused not only on human consumption, but also excessive water usage by the food industry: 7,000 litres of water are needed to produce a steak and 1,500 litres to produce a kilogram of wheat.
Furthermore, a lack of infrastructure and poor sanitation cause 1.6 million deaths, mostly children, from water-related diseases (especially in poorer countries). The United Nations predicts that in 2025 two thirds of the world's population will live in areas with water shortages.
Spain, which is threatened by a drought, has experienced a particularly dry winter, without a single drop of rain falling in Madrid for over 100 days. The coordinator of the Development-Spain NGO has appealed to the Government to pass a law enshrining access to water as a human right.
Municipal authorities are also taing action to save water. Avila City Council has agreed to prohibit the watering of public and private gardens to restrict water usage in a city where reservoirs are currently at 53% of normal levels.