Poland has to brace for worst drought in history: expert

Poland could be facing the worst drought in history after a warm winter and a lack of rain this spring due to climate change and inadequate water management, an expert has warned.

A woman watering a vegetable garden in Ciszyca, southern Poland, 24 March 2020.

A woman watering a vegetable garden in Ciszyca, southern Poland, 24 March 2020.Photo: Rafał Guz

„At the moment, we have a much worse hydrological situation than in the same period last year. Last year’s drought was severe. If there is no regular rainfall in the coming weeks, this year’s drought may be even worse, perhaps one of the worst in our country’s history,” hydrologist and vice president of the Polish Academy of Sciences professor Paweł Rowiński told state news agency PAP.

A particularly hot summer last year resulted in a warm winter with scanty snowfall, PAP reported.

“There is nothing that could melt and run down the rivers,” Rowiński said.

Unfortunately, droughts can only be averted “by using long-term measures that minimize the effects of drought. It should be remembered that droughts are a natural phenomenon, but their regularity since 2018 in Poland is, among others, caused by global climate change, which is caused by man,” Rowiński was quoted by PAP as saying.

Poland has suffered water shortages stemming from a lack of rain and high temperatures for several years.

According to PAP, there is no shortage of water in the waterworks for now. „But this is an increasingly real threat. Restrictions on access to running water were introduced last year, for example in [the Polish city of] Skierniewice. This scenario may be repeated in other cities, especially where there is only one water intake. Larger cities are better off because the water there is drawn from ground and surface sources,” Rowiński added.

Poles sweltered under heatwaves last summer, though temperatures in other European countries were even higher, with records set in the Netherlands and Germany.

(jh)

Source: PAP

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