Italy/Spain - Both countries are considered to be under high water stress, but while a recent drought that hit Italy has mostly subsided, water scarcity is ravaging Catalonia, in northeastern Spain, laying bare the unpreparedness of water infrastructure to deal with such a traumatic manifestation of climate change.
The team sets out to report locally both in Catalonia and in northern Italy to understand what the two regions could learn from one another when it comes to water management. They found that while Italy is ready to spend a sizable portion of its recovery fund on big water infrastructure like basins, this very type of infrastructure might become irrelevant very soon if it doesn't rain.
And that while Catalonia may be a bit more innovative in its efforts to fight future droughts (for example by investing more in desalination and water reuse), it still needs to contend with the fact that the amount of water that is used everyday to support industrial farming, extensive agriculture and tourism is simply unsustainable and some uses may need to be reconsidered.
Photo by Cecilia Butini