Europe in a better situation than last year… except in Spain

The dryness of the soil is much less marked on the European continent than a year ago, but the situation is on the other hand very degraded in Spain, according to satellite data from the European Copernicus program.

This indicator concerns the dryness of the soil, which can be analyzed by satellites, and not the state of the water tables, underground, which are found, for example, in France and Spain at historically low levels, well below normal for this time of year. The rain fell in France in April, without necessarily recharging these water tables because the vegetation, in the middle of early spring, captures this water to grow.

27.68% of the territory studied by Copernicus (i.e. Europe and the shores of the Mediterranean) was in a drought situation over the ten-day period from April 21 to April 30, 2023, indicates the European Drought Observatory (EDO ). The extent of the drought is stable compared to the previous ten days (27.52% from April 11 to 20).

Compared to last year, when the continent was also hit by drought, the situation appears much more favourable: in 2022, at the same period, 47% of the territories studied by the EDO were in a state of drought. , i.e. 20 points more.

Spain in an emergency

This global picture on the scale of the continent hides strong disparities depending on the country. The figures are much worse in Spain, facing one of the worst droughts in its recent history, both above and below ground.

The country thus suffered last month one of the five biggest episodes of drought since the start of the EDO measures in 2012. 79.48% of the Spanish territory was thus affected by drought, 64.94% in a situation of soil moisture deficit, and 14.54% in a state of alert.

The Spanish government unveiled an emergency plan of more than two billion euros on Thursday to deal with this situation and rescue an agricultural sector in great suffering. Just under two-thirds of this sum is to be used to build new infrastructure to address water shortages in some regions, including seawater desalination plants and systems to increase water reuse. worn out.

In France, this year, the government and the prefects decided early on more water use restrictions than last year, to save groundwater, especially in the south near the Spanish border (Pyrénées-Orientales), the most recent decision dating from Friday in Hérault.

Source: Le Progrès : info et actu nationale et régionale – Rhône, Loire, Ain, Haute-Loire et Jura | Le Progrès by

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