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After three years marked by an absence of rain, reservoirs at desperately low levels and the declaration of a water supply emergency, with all the restrictions that this entails, Catalans have, suddenly, decided that drought is their country's greatest problem, as revealed by the survey published this Thursday by the Centre for Opinion Studies. At the end of last year, in the survey published in November, the CEO's questioning led to respondents mentioning fourteen top problems - with neither drought nor climate change among them. But perhaps a tipping point has been passed (a drought emergency phase, the highest level of the crisis, was declared in much of the most populated parts of Catalonia in February) and Catalans have gone from not listing the drought to asserting that it leads their concerns. In 2008, when Catalonia was suffering from its last serious drought, which forced water to be shipped into the Port of Barcelona, Catalans also identified the lack of rain as the country's main problem, as noted by Jordi Muñoz, director of the public CEO polling agency: 23% of Catalans mentioned the lack of water in the barometer published in May of that year.

Comuns voters, most concerned about the drought

Specifically, 15% of respondents now say that the drought is the most serious problem in Catalonia, followed by political dissatisfaction (11%) and relations between Catalonia and Spain (9%). On the other hand, in November, the public ranked the Catalonia-Spain political conflict as the main problem, and in just four months that has fallen to third position. Among the other problems that concern Catalans, unemployment and job insecurity (8%) and the functioning of the economy (8%) also stand out. On the other hand, concern about immigration has grown in recent months by 2%, up to 6%.

If these data are broken down by party voting preferences, we see that the drought mainly worries left-wing and pro-independence voters, as it is the main problem for the Catalan Socialists (PSC), Republican Left (ERC), Together for Catalonia (Junts), En Comú Podem and the CUP. Specifically, the most worried are the voters of the Comuns, since 21% of respondents who support this party place the drought as their main concern.

The right, more concerned about the Catalonia-Spain relationship

Meanwhile, voters on the right seem to have other concerns. Only those of the People's Party place climate change and the lack of rain in second place, but for not only the PP but also Vox and Ciudadanos (Cs) the main headache is the relationship between Catalonia and Spain. The polls were carried out before Pere Aragonès's election call and during the negotiations for the amnesty law between the Socialists and the pro-independence parties, over which these three right-wing parties express alarm. All in all, the most concerned are voters of Cs, a party which the CEO says is likely to disappear from Parliament in the election: up to 39% of respondents from Cs place the Catalonia-Spain relationship as the country's main problem.

Immigration, on the other hand, is a phenomenon that worries the voters of the right - especially those of Vox - and also those of Junts, since 8% of its voters place it as the main problem in Catalonia. In the last few months, Junts has opened up a debate regarding the expulsion of migrants who were recidivist offenders and it also reached agreement with the Spanish government on delegation of some immigration powers to Catalonia.