Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

One of the driest and warmest summers in Germany

This year’s was the third hottest summer in Germany since the beginning of regular meteorological records in 1881, according to preliminary data from the Federal Meteorological Service.

Based on an analysis that took into account forecasts for the last two days of August, the average temperature for the season was 19.2 degrees Celsius, 2.9 degrees above the long-term average.

The previous summer was
even warmer, with
an average temperature
of 19.3 degrees, while
the hottest summer of the
last 138 years was in 2003,
with an average temperature
of 19.7 degrees.

This summer brought a new record high with an extremely strong heat wave, during which, from 24 to 26 July, temperatures rose above 40 degrees Celsius for three consecutive days, and a new historic record of 42.6 degrees was measured, which is more than 2 degrees above the previous record of 40.3 degrees, recorded in August 2015.

Bathers at the lakeside, Haltern am See, 24 July 2019 Photo: MTI/EPA/Friedemann Vogel

This summer has not only been exceptionally warm but also dry in Germany, with an average of 175 millimetres of rain per square metre, which is 27 percent below the usual 239 millimetres. A number of regions suffered severe drought: in a wide stretch from North Rhine-Westphalia to the southern part of Brandenburg, rainfall was only a half, in places only a third of the long-term average.

In a number of federal states,
the soil dried the most since
regular soil humidity
measurements were
started in 1961.

The national average of sunny hours was 755, up 25 percent from the usual level, and making the summer of 2019 the fourth sunniest summer since 1951.

The dried out banks of the River Elbe in the centre of Dresden, 10 July 2019 Photo: MTI/EPA/Filip Singer

Source: MTI – Hungarian News Agency

Further information: Deutscher Wetterdienst

Hundreds of Australian towns face water crisis

Up to 180 thousand people may be left without drinking water due to the severe drought.

Water shortage threatens the Panama Canal

Extreme drought is putting one of the world’s most important trade routes at risk.

Extremely low water levels on the River Maros

The characteristic sand banks of the river have grown larger, some branches have dried out completely.

Millions left without water in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s capital city, Harare, shut down its main water works on 23 September citing shortages of foreign currency to import chemicals required for water treatment. The situation may not only lead to a severe water shortage for the population, but also increases the risks of diseases carried by contaminated water, such as cholera.

European farming could suffer 16 percent loss by 2050 due to climate change

A comprehensive report by the European Environment Agency claims that over the next 30 years, agricultural yields could drop by up to 16 percent in Europe due to the phenomena accompanying climate change.

Sad pictures of a lake that disappears in Chile

In 2011, Laguna de Aculeo, one of the country’s favourite bathing resorts, still covered 12 square kilometres, and the lake was 6 metres deep – but since then, it has completely dried out.

One billion tonnes of carbon dioxide released into the air in Africa

The problem of the water shortages caused by global warming is much more complex than we have thought. In some parts of Africa, people not only need to face thirst but also the fact that the regions impacted by drought emit a quantity of carbon dioxide equivalent to the emissions of two hundred million cars each year.

UN report: climate change could cause global famine

According to a new report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that focuses on the interaction between climate change, desertification and food security, if present land use habits are maintained, the planet’s capacity to produce food will drop drastically.

European Union aid for drought-stricken Africa

The EU is contributing a further 50 million euro to alleviate drought damage in a number of Eastern and Central African countries. According to estimates, more than 4 million children and about 3 million pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers are undernourished in the region.

Seventeen countries suffer critical water shortages

According to a report from the World Resources Institute, 17 countries are facing extremely high water stress, from India through Israel to Botswana. Many of the countries in question – which, collectively, are home to a quarter of the world’s population – are in the Middle East and North Africa.