Water supply and sanitation in Spain is characterised by universal access and generally good service quality, while tariffs are among the lowest in the EU. Almost half of the population is served by private or mixed private-public water companies, which operate under concession contracts with municipalities. The largest of the private water companies, with a market share of about 50% of the private concessions, is Aguas de Barcelona (Agbar). However, the large cities are all served by public companies except Barcelona and Valencia. The largest public company is Canal de Isabel II, which serves the metropolitan area of Madrid.
Droughts affect water supply in Southern Spain, which increasingly is turning towards seawater desalination to meet its water needs.
Culturally, Spain is a Western country. Almost every aspect of Spanish life is permeated by its Roman heritage, making Spain one of the major Latin countries of Europe. Spanish culture is marked by strong historic ties to Catholicism, which played a pivotal role in the country's formation and subsequent identity. Spanish art, architecture, cuisine, and music has been shaped by successive waves of foreign invaders, as well as by the country's Mediterranean climate and geography. The centuries-long colonial era globalised Spanish language and culture, with Spain also absorbing the cultural and commercial products of its diverse empire.
Spanish music is often considered abroad to be synonymous with flamenco, a West Andalusian musical genre, which, contrary to popular belief, is not widespread outside that region. Various regional styles of folk music abound in Aragon, Catalonia, Valencia, Castile, the Basque Country, Galicia, Cantabria and Asturias. Pop, rock, hip hop and heavy metal are also popular.
In the field of classical music, Spain has produced a number of noted composers such as Isaac Albniz, Manuel de Falla and Enrique Granados and singers and performers such as Plcido Domingo, Jos Carreras, Montserrat Caball, Alicia de Larrocha, Alfredo Kraus, Pablo Casals, Ricardo Vies, Jos Iturbi, Pablo de Sarasate, Jordi Savall and Teresa Berganza. In Spain there are over forty professional orchestras, including the Orquestra Simfnica de Barcelona, Orquesta Nacional de Espaa and the Orquesta Sinfnica de Madrid. Major opera houses include the Teatro Real, the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Teatro Arriaga and the El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofa.
Thousands of music fans also travel to Spain each year for internationally recognised summer music festivals Snar which often features the top up and coming pop and techno acts, and Benicssim which tends to feature alternative rock and dance acts. Both festivals mark Spain as an international music presence and reflect the tastes of young people in the country.
The most popular traditional musical instrument, the guitar, originated in Spain. Typical of the north are the traditional bag pipers or gaiteros, mainly in Asturias and Galicia.