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Ancient church emerges from flooded valley for first time in 50 years in most striking image of Barcelona drought
An ancient church has emerged from a flooded valley for the first time in 50 years as Spain's worst drought in decades forced the city of Barcelona to begin shipping in drinking water.
For the majority of the past four decades, all that has been visible of the village of Sant Roma has been the belltower of its stone church, peeping above the water beside forested hills from a valley flooded in the 1960s to provide water for the Catalonia region.
This year, receding waters have exposed the 11th-century church completely, attracting crowds of tourists who stand gazing around it on the dusty bed of the reservoir.
For much of the past four decades, all that has been visible of the village of Sant Roma has been the belltower of its stone church
A ship carrying 5million gallons (19,000 cubic meters) of water from nearby Tarragona docked in Barcelona's port this morning. A second vessel from Marseille, France, is scheduled to arrive in the coming days.
The bustling port city on Spain's Mediterranean coast is among the areas hardest hit by the worst springtime drought in the country since records began 60 years ago.
With reservoirs at dramatically low levels and no substantial rainfall in sight, authorities hope a new desalination plant - one of the biggest in Europe - will be operational in May of next year and resolve much of Catalonia's water woes.
Crowds of tourists have been attracted to the site
The regional government of Catalonia said six ships a month will bring in a total of 438million gallons (1.66million cubic meters) of water in an unprecedented effort to avoid water restrictions before the start of the holiday season.