An unprecedented winter drought across Europe has brought dramatic scenes across the continent, and warnings of threats to food, water security and even energy production. Europe has been in severe drought since 2018, leaving groundwater levels precipitously low, according to a study released.
The compounding impact of successive dry periods is leading to warnings that this summer could be worse than last year, when the Continent experienced the worst drought in 500 years.
A map by the European Drought Observatory shows the majority of France and the UK in a soil moisture deficit. Much of Ireland is red, indicating threats to vegetation growth. Given the current situation and considering the long-term effects of the 2022 drought, if enough precipitation will not occur in the coming weeks, there is high risk of yield losses, together with impacts on energy production, river transports and on ecosystems, Governments are responding with water restrictions, and Italy has warned that rationing may be necessary as it seeks to protect food production. The Alps received half their normal snowfall this winter, while the country‚Äôs longest river, the Po, has 60 per cent less water than normal at this time of year, according to the Legambiente environmental group. Lake Garda is at its lowest level in 30 years, with its San Bagio islet now accessible by foot. Dried up rivers are also contributing to the wild boar problem, making it easier for them to travel to urban areas.

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