Friday, November 14, 2008

Autochthonous Planting - Que?

If you live in or visit Catalunya and wondered about the ongoing drought situation and about how it may affect your activities then a visit to the website of 


which will provide the necessary information in Catalan, Castillian or English languages.

 Pictures of depleted reservoirs taken from the web site.


Rosemary, lavender, thyme and basil are, among others, the local native plants which are best suited to our climate and which consume up to ten times less water than typical seasonal flowers. Moreover, they are more resistant to high temperatures and last much longer.

All parts of society have been contributing for some time to water saving. But we can still improve in making good use of water and confronting the drought. With the advice given in this section we can learn to value it more and reduce our consumption.

How does it affect us?

In Catalonia many months have passed, since the autumn of 2006, without significant rainfall in the headwaters of the rivers, which have only received very light precipitations of less than 10 litres per square metre. This means that it is the worst drought suffered in our country since those of 1944 and 1953.

This situation makes it very difficult to supply water to the different users of this resource and obliges us to prioritise, by law, domestic supply to the whole of the Catalan population.

In the current situation and in accordance with the provisions in the Decree on drought for entering exceptional situation level 2, the uses affected by the restrictions, that is those which cannot use potable water, are:

  • Watering gardens, fields, vegetable gardens, and green spaces and sports areas, either public or private.
  • Washing or damping down streets, roads, paths and pavements, either public or private.
  • Filling of swimming pools, ponds and fountains, private or public.
  • Using hosepipes to wash vehicles except by companies engaged in this activity.

If you want to know if your particular town or village is affected and at which level then you should


  1. They should get to grips with the building of more golf courses then, eh. The water that's used down here for them is scandalous.

  2. I agree completely with ladyluz about the golf courses - we have them here in the Languedoc too, and there shouldn't be any in places with a dry climate. I agree too with the Agencia Catalana de l'Aigua about planting indigenous plants like rosemary, etc. That's what we're trying to do in our garden - we are only planting ornamental plants which won't need watering once they're established. Veg plants do need water, of course.

  3. I agree about the golf courses, although there aren't many where we are. As to plants, I am concentrating on those that do well naturally and only require water for the first weeks until they establish themselves, and rosemary.... we have an abundance! The only plants I've bought so far are lavender and osteospermum and both have done very well. You've just got to work with what you've got, and you can't be a slave to watering when you haven't any spare water!