Last year Europe had one of the hottest summers on record, and this year, drought alarms are being sounded again in several countries. According to the European Drought Observatory, a significant portion of Europe has drought problems, with red being the most serious "alert" state, green being a safe state, and the darker the yellow, the more serious the drought problem. Since the lack of water may affect the production of electricity, which will lead to a new round of price increases for natural gas and electricity, it is not too late to install PV.
In the previous March, Spain's national precipitation was only 36% of the historical average, and the temperature for the month was 1.8 degrees Celsius above the historical average, making this March the hottest March in Spain in the past 100 years. The average precipitation in Spain in April this year was 14.2 mm, about 22% of previous years. Due to the drought, the average water level of reservoirs throughout Spain is only 25% of the highest level, in the most serious drought in Catalonia, some reservoirs are on the verge of drying up, the region has now banned the use of private swimming pools, agricultural water is also limited to 40%.
Cordoba in southern Spain measured 38.8 degrees Celsius, the highest temperature in the country's history in April. The dry weather in Spain for more than 100 days has caused a lot of accidents in various warehouses recently, with 2-3 warehouse fires in the warehouse area of Madrid alone from last week to today. In addition, reservoirs dried up, crop damage and a series of other extreme effects caused by the hot weather.
Cristobal Cano, secretary general of the Spanish regional body, the Small Farmers' Union, said that there has been almost no rainfall since January and the ground is so dry that Spain, a major European fruit and vegetable country, has started to fall into pessimism. The drought's reduced production will lead to higher prices for basic agricultural products in Europe, and the cost of living will become increasingly high.
Ramona Magno of the Italian National Research Council revealed that precipitation has been below average throughout the Po River basin. the level of the Po River at the beginning of April was the lowest in 30 years. Attilio Fontana, president of the Lombardy region, said that the water level in the reservoirs of the entire region is only half of the historical average.
Confagricoltura, the Italian Agricultural Federation, estimates that at least 50,000 farmers are now affected, with direct economic losses in agriculture amounting to 1.5 billion euros. The association's data show that last summer's drought has caused Italian agriculture 6 billion euros of losses, if the drought continues this year, there will be more than 300,000 farmers suffered losses. Coldiretti, the Italian farmers' federation, also warned of risks to the harvest of rice, corn and other major crops this spring.
Environment Minister Christophe Béchu warned that the amount of available water could fall by 10% to 40% in the coming years. The French Meteorological Office recorded 32 consecutive days of zero precipitation during February, making it the driest February in France since 1959, and Perpignan in Pyrénées-Orientales even experienced extreme drinking water disruptions in April. And in parts of Southern France, the use of private swimming pools faces a fine of 1,500 euros. Water restrictions have been imposed in several areas, residents are forbidden to fill their pools or wash their cars, and local farmers must cut their water consumption in half.
Last summer's ecological disaster in Austria's Thousand Lakes Park was brought on by a severe drought, yet this year the lake here is still at its lowest level on record, with a dry Zicke bed and alarming cracks. Austria is not a water-scarce country, says Prof. Roman. The relatively warm and humid climate, the snowy Alps, and the many rivers within its borders make Austria's water resources better than many regions. However, the continuous drought in recent years has lowered the groundwater level in the Austrian plains, which is the reason why many lakes are at low water levels or even dried up.
With the current frequency of extreme weather, there are increasing signs that the summer of 2023 may not be a good one as we approach summer. Excessive gas prices and electricity bills are bound to be burdensome for millions of families. Installing solar photovoltaic panels is definitely the best option, and you can install batteries so that the electricity you don't use up can be sold to the state.
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