Tuesday 07 February 2023

There is a ‘real threat’ of water shortages as drought continues, officials say

A dried up tributary of the river Waal near Boven-Leeuwen. Photo: Marcel van den Bergh / HH

With no end to the drought in sight, the country’s water boards say there is now the real threat of a water shortage over most of the country.

The demand for water will remain ‘very high’ in the coming days and pumps are being used to keep water levels up to scratch.

Salt levels in some western parts have now risen so much that extra sweet water is being brought in. This, water board officials say, is necessary to protect both farmers and vulnerable parts of the countryside.

The main cause, according to the transport ministry’s water department, is falling water levels in the river Rhine, which is used to keep Dutch water supplies topped up.

Although the drop has not yet had an impact on inland shipping, this could be an issue if the drought continues, the ministry said.

Weather forecasters say there is very little chance of any rain falling over the next two weeks.

The Dutch dunes are a source of drinking water

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