Sunday 09 August 2020

First shipping, now agriculture threatened by drought


The Netherlands continues to suffer from the effects of last year’s drought and not enough rain has fallen this winter to make up for the deficit, the Volkskrant reported on Friday.

Research by weather bureau Weeronline shows the present drought is worse than the winter of 1976-1877 which holds the record.

And with more good weather on the way, the problem will only get worse, Weeronline says. The south, south east and east of the country are worst affected

The drought, which hit inland shipping last year, now threatens to affect agriculture as groundwater levels are too low to supply crops with water if rainfall remains elusive.

Measures to stock up on water in the dry areas, such closing off ditches, will have to be taken, especially for the sandy grounds in Twente, the Achterhoek and parts of Limburg and Noord-Brabant, where groundwater levels are particularly low, the paper said.

Farmers who want to water their crops in spring often resort to groundwater but, water board spokesperson Jane Alblas told the paper, ‘they may be prohibited from doing this to avoid irreparable damage to nature.’

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