From Hungary to Hawaii, from the arid Rhine to the now-recovering Rio Grande, or from Casablanca to California, across most of the northern hemisphere, summer drought and high temperatures hit everything from agriculture to freight industries. have a strong impact.
This is your gateway to an overview of the latest drought-related developments around the world and more bespoke coverage of DW.
Lake Garda shrinks to record low level
Italy’s worst drought in a decade has reduced Lake Garda’s water levels to record lows.
The water level has dropped so much that much of the previously underwater rock is now exposed.
Perhaps most astonishingly, vast expanses of bleached rock were found around the coastline of the South Simone peninsula.
Tourist Beatriz Masi told the Associated Press: “We came last year, loved it, and returned this year. There was no water, so it was a bit of a shock when we arrived.”
Northern Italy has had many months of dry rainfall, and this year’s snowfall has fallen by 70%, reducing meltwater. This has dried up important rivers like the Po River, which runs through the agricultural and industrial heart of the country.
Germany — Logistics operators suspend most barge operations on Upper and Middle Lines
Due to low water levels, German container logistics company Contargo has suspended most of its inland shipping operations on the Upper and Middle Lines.
With no heavy rains expected over the next few days, the company expects the cowb gauge level to drop below 40 cm (15,7 in) from this weekend.
In a statement posted on the company’s website, Contargo said: “Then our barges will no longer be able to navigate without danger and for safety reasons navigation in the Upper and Middle Rhine will be greatly reduced. We will have to stop it at some point,” he said.
Germany — farmers’ organizations issue harvest warnings
Joachim Lukwit, president of the German Farmers Association, warned on Friday that this year’s harvest could be severely affected by a late summer heat wave without impending rains.
He added that the combination of inflation and the conflict in Ukraine is exacerbating the situation even for farmers in Western Europe hundreds or thousands of kilometers from the front line.
“Right now we are fighting on many fronts,” Lukwied told German news agency DPA. “Fertilizer prices have quadrupled for him over the previous year, energy prices have doubled for him, and fodder prices have risen.”
Rukwied says, “If the rains don’t come all the way in soon, we could lose 30 or 40 percent of the yield.”
Rukwied said the 2022 grain harvest is largely on schedule, but crops harvested later this year, such as potatoes and sugar beets, are particularly at risk and cost more as a result. there is a possibility.
Rukwied also warned of the impact on farmers’ own winter stockpiles. Grass has turned brown across much of the country and ‘absolutely nothing is regenerating’ – some farmers are unable to cut fresh food from fallow land, so they cut livestock from animals already set aside for the winter. must be fed.
France — Massive fires in west, dry up rivers, lakes
Firefighters from six EU member states began arriving in France on Friday to deal with a series of wildfires.
You can read the full text here.
In total, 361 foreign firefighters rushed to the aid of their French colleagues. The 65 are the first contingent to arrive from neighboring Germany.
The Tyré River in the village of Lax in southwestern Burgundy has dried up completely, revealing thousands of dead fish in a wide trench.
France has been forced to impose various water restrictions nationwide during the summer.
This situation is also affecting the electricity supply of nuclear-powered countries. France’s vast number of low-carbon nuclear power plants rely on river water for cooling, and several have had to shut down as a result. France has taken the unusual step of importing electricity from neighboring countries, and its baseload electricity prices hit a record high earlier in the week.
Hungary — Danube dried up, harvesting exacerbated inflation
Water levels on the Danube have dropped to critical levels in recent weeks, and parts of Lake Velence, southwest of Budapest, have dried up completely this week (see image at the top of the article).
Hungarian Central Bank Deputy Governor Barnabas Birag said the prolonged drought, combined with the impact of the war in Ukraine on the world’s food supply, will push food prices higher in the coming months, adding to existing inflationary pressures facing the country. warned that it could exacerbate Country.
UK — Source of the Thames facing unprecedented water shortages
With the driest weather in more than 100 years, Britain has banned hosepipes in parts of the country, creating unprecedented water shortages at the head of the Thames.
Meanwhile, the UK government said parts of southern, central and eastern England had officially moved into drought conditions.
The UK Meteorological Service declared last month the driest period since 1935 with an average of 23.1 millimeters (0.9 inches) of precipitation.
EU: Record Fire Activity in South West Europe in 2022
2022 will be a record year for wildfire activity in southwestern Europe, with fires burning tens of thousands of hectares of forest land in France, Spain and Portugal, the EU’s Copernicus Air Monitoring Service (CAMS) said Friday. Stated.
Amid a heatwave that recorded record temperatures across the continent, Bloc’s satellite monitoring service hit the highest level of carbon pollution from wildfires in the last three months since France began recording in 2003. said.
This follows Spain’s record wildfire carbon emissions in July.
Wildfires in Hawaii burn over 15 square miles
Wildfires in rural Hawaii have not yet threatened residential areas, but high winds and dry conditions are making it difficult for firefighters to contain the blaze.
The fire started on the west side of the U.S. Army’s Pohakuloa training range, which lies above the town of Waikoloa and between the volcanoes Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea.
As of Thursday, the fire had charred more than 15 square miles of land.
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return Germany, one of the central focal points of the drought is the Rhine, which eventually connects the Alps with the North Sea. After the Danube, he is the second longest river in Europe and a major shipping route for West Germany. For now it is still open for freight traffic, but the boats are already full and cannot run. Germany’s Federal Institute of Hydrology warned on Thursday that one of the river’s notorious shallow spots could become completely impassable next week if no rains fall.
jsi, msh/jcg (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)