Europe’s increasing risk of water shortage

17% of Europeans affected by 2050

water shortage graphic

Press agency Lusa reports that around 17% of the European population is at great risk of water shortage by 2050, which could affect 13% of Europe’s GDP, indicates a study released today by the “World Wide Fund for Nature” (WWF) organisation.

This new study “shows that Europe will be increasingly prone to droughts and water shortages,” warns a statement issued by Associação Natureza Portugal (ANP), which works alongside the WWF.

The data from the “Water Risk Filter” points to the need, according to the statement, “for urgent action to be taken by governments and businesses to increase the resilience of societies and the economy, particularly through nature-based solutions”.

“Droughts in Europe should shock no one: water risk maps have long pointed to worsening scarcity across the continent. What should shock us is that European governments, companies and investors continue to turn a blind eye to the risks of water scarcity, as if these risks will solve themselves”

Alexis Morgan of WWF

Unsustainable farming practices creating water shortage in Portugal

Ruben Rocha, from ANP/WWF, also cited in the water shortage study, recalls that in Portugal, as in other countries with a Mediterranean climate, the situation of meteorological drought is increasingly intense due to climate change.

“We know that agriculture is responsible for about 75% of water consumption in Portugal, a figure much higher than the European average (approximately 25%) and higher than the world average (70%), due to unsustainable farming practices, which require urgent and often politically unpopular measures,” the report states.

The study recalls that Europe’s rivers are currently suffering the consequences of the heat, with four of the continent’s most important rivers – the Danube, Po, Rhine and Vistula – facing record lows, threatening business, industry, agriculture and even people’s water consumption. Regrettably, 60% of Europe’s rivers are now “unhealthy”, says the environmental organisation.

Thanks to PeterA for the link

COVID-19 in Madeira: updates can be found in an earlier post 

Europe's increasing risk of water shortage 1

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