Drought: “Extremely Deteriorated” Situation in Spain

I amSoil dryness on the European continent is much less than it was a year ago, but the situation in Spain is much worse, according to satellite data from the European Copernicus project, analyzed by AFP on Friday.

The European Drought Observatory (EDO) notes that 27.68% of the land surveyed by Copernicus (i.e. Europe and the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea) was in dry conditions during the ten-day period from April 21 to April 30, 2023. The degree of drought is stable compared to the previous ten days (27.52% from April 11 to 20).

Compared to last year, the situation looks more favorable: in 2022, during the same period, 47% of the territories surveyed by the EDO were in a state of drought, i.e. 20 points more.

This global picture at the scale of the continent masks strong disparities by country. The figures are even worse in Spain, which is facing the worst drought in its recent history.

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Last month, the country suffered one of the five worst episodes of drought since EDO operations began in 2012. 79.48% of the Spanish territory is affected by drought, 64.94% of soil moisture deficit and 14.54% in alert status.

The Spanish government on Thursday unveiled an emergency plan of more than two billion euros to deal with the situation and rescue the ailing agricultural sector. Two-thirds of this amount will be used to build new infrastructure to address water shortages in some areas, including seawater desalination plants and systems to increase water reuse.

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