Around half of European Union territory faces drought warning: Reports

Europe: About half of the European Union territory, 46 percent, face drought warnings or alerts, 11 percent related to soil moisture deficit and plant stress, as per the report from the European Commission published on Monday. The Commission urgently calls for integrated water resources management.

Research Commissioner Mariya Gabriel mentioned in the statement, “Climate change is increasing the risk of severe droughts and forest fires around the world.”

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The majority of Europe is struggling with reported temperatures, and forest fires are raging in Europe’s southwest. France, Romania, Spain, Portugal and Italy are likely to face reduced crop yields because of water scarcity as well as heat stress, as per the report by the Commission’s Joint Research Centre.

Moreover, in Italy, the Po river basin is in a severe state of drought. Drought emergencies have been declared in five regions in Italy, and water restrictions have been issued in the majority of municipalities. Measures to restrict water use have also been adopted in France.

The situation is particularly dire on the Iberian Peninsula, where reservoirs in Spain are 31 percent below their 10-year average. Half of Portugal’s hydroelectric dams’ average annual output over the previous seven years is currently being produced. Wildfires are being fought in both nations.

Groundwater levels have dropped dramatically as a result of the lack of rain (particularly in Belgium), which poses a serious threat to crops and other plants. The problem is especially significant in the Italian lowlands, in southern, central, and western France, as well as in central Germany and eastern Hungary.

There is grave fear that the lack of water in more and more European locations would lead to rivalry for this precious resource.

Furthermore, Europe’s problems are made worse by the crisis as areas look to alternative energy sources, mostly fossil fuels, which are already at record high prices, as a result of the decline in hydropower. In preparation for a hard winter that might cause prices to climb even further, Member States are attempting to stockpile gasoline and natural gas.

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