A farmer and politician, Angel Carcia Udon, said: "Water arouses passions because it can be used as a weapon, a political weapon, just as oil is a political weapon".
And water in
When the city of
The government of
Instead, the city imported tonnes of litres of water from
Mr Udon, whose Popular Party (PP) believes in transferring water around the country, said: "It's incomprehensible that, in one country, there is an excess of water in one place and a deficit in another.
"Even more incomprehensible is that they expect us to use water from desalination plants, which is expensive and would force us to raise prices."
But when the present PSOE Socialist government of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero got into power in 2004, they cancelled all the PP's plans to send water from the north-west to the arid zones of the south-east.
Instead, the government is building more desalination plants, adding to the more than 900 already in
They are working night and day at the one at Llogrebat, close to
Asked how much alternative energy it will use, he replied: "In this plant alone, we are talking about solar energy providing about one million kilowatt hours (kWh) a year, against the total consumption of 180 million kWh, ie less than 0.5%".
He added that there simply were not enough sun hours in
The opposition party, supported by some environmentalists, say that the ambitious desalination plant programme, with its huge energy needs, will only add to the amount of CO2 produced, which in turn will add to global warming and thereby increase
The government, supported by other environmentalists (even the Greens disagree about water in
The desalination plant in
"You must not leave the tap on for too long because water will be wasted and we won't have enough water in
Her friend, seven-year-old Carmen, then added: "If you want to shower in hot water, then you must collect the cold water that comes out first in a bucket and use it later to water the plants".
And from eight-year-old Juan: "If you don't have water, there are lots of things you can't do. You can't live without it. Without water we can't survive."