With the drought forecast to continue well into next week at least, Holland is heading for its longest dry spell on record, according to weather bureau KNMI.
A few drops of rain fell in the De Bilt weather monitoring station on April 3 so this month does not count as totally dry but much of the country has had no rain for 33 days, the KNMI says.
And while the drought, combined with unseasonably warm temperatures, is not yet causing any serious problems, nature watchers warn trouble could be on its way.
The lack of rainfall means the water table is now far lower than normal, creating problems for certain types of grasses and animals.
A spokesman for nature monitoring group Natuurkalender told ANP the situation was ‘not yet worrying’ but he emphasised that the long-term forecasts are not positive. ‘The summer still has to begin, and that is when water shortages really mount,’ he said.
Scientific advice group WaterWatch says the shortage of water is on the verge of becoming a problem. ‘Plants cannot build up proper reserves for the warm summer,’ a spokesman said. Temperatures have already reached record levels of almost 30 degrees this month.
However, the Dutch forestry commission Staatsbosbeheer says it has not yet come across any serious problems. ‘The drought is not yet a disaster,’ a spokesman said. ‘Everything is growing as it should. Nature is rather flexible really.’
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