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The Metropolitan area of Barcelona and water scarcity

The Metropolitan Area of Barcelona is one of the largest urban agglomerations in southern Europe, covering 3,200 square kilometer and including 163 municipalities and approximately 5 million people (21). Barcelona is the administrative and economic capital of Catalonia.


Barcelona and its metropolitan area mainly uses two basins: the Ter basin at 55% and the Llobregat basin at 38%. When major droughts occur, the extraction of groundwater from aquifers and the desalination of seawater are necessary (19). 

Rainfall, its frequency and quantity, is the most important variable in determining physical water scarcity, but the change in urban form with a sprawl towards the peripheries and a more residential structure plays a determining role. The water consumption of households in the AMB for indoor and outdoor uses represents more than 65% of the total consumption of the region. There is great unevenness in the geography of water consumption in the AMB as well as in the main drivers of its consumption, all which indicates that context specificness is crucial when analysing water dynamics (21).

Some images of Barcelona and its Mediterranean coastline ...

The condal city, a quick tour

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