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Climate: EU Joint Research Centre, drought alert. Italy, France and Spain affected. “Appropriate use of water” crucial

“Most of southern and western Europe is affected by emerging drought”, which “raises concerns on water supply, agriculture and energy production”, the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) said in the Drought in Europe Report, released today ahead of World Water Day, the UN Water Conference in New York, and the Synthesis Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “Due to an exceptionally dry and warm winter, soil moisture and river flow are already showing significant anomalies, especially in France, Spain and northern Italy”. In the Alps, snow accumulation “is far below the historical average, and is even lower than that for the 2021-2022 winter”. This will lead to severe reduction of snowmelt contribution to river flows in the perialpine region during spring and the early summer 2023”, the Report reads. Rainfall over the next few weeks “will be crucial”. In Europe and the Mediterranean, there could be “an extreme summer this year, similar to 2022”. The Report recommends “close monitoring and appropriate use of water”. A “severe lack of rainfall is affecting the Maghreb and Turkey”, as shown in the JRC MARS Bulletin on North Africa. During the upcoming UN Water Conference, the EU will announce 33 actions to fight the global water crisis and improve resilience to drought.

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