The European Country That Faces An Extreme Lack of Water as Drought Worsens

CC BY-SA 4.0 / Rosser1954 / Cracked earth in a ditch after prolonged droughtCracked earth in a ditch after prolonged drought. 2020. Kilmaurs parish
Cracked earth in a ditch after prolonged drought. 2020. Kilmaurs parish - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.02.2022
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Despite being a developed country with a long history and rich traditions, which once boasted an empire and controlled vast wealth and whose west and south coasts border the Atlantic, 91 percent of Portugal is now in the grip of a drought such as it hasn't seen since 2005.
Dry season has spread across Portugal, according to a report from the national maritime institute, or Instituto Portugues do Mar e da Atmosfera (IPMA). The average rainfall between 1 and 15 February was only seven percent of the 30-year average. No appreciable rainfall is expected for the rest of the month. Temperatures are forecast to remain above normal and drought will worsen to the conditions which existed during the record dry spell in 2005.
Environmental groups say droughts at the start of the year have ceased being to be an anomaly in Portugal and should be viewed in the context of climate change. In past years, such dry spells have often led to massive wildfires in the summer.
As a reaction to the water crisis, the Portuguese government has limited the use of reservoirs for hydroelectric power generation to conserve water, and farmers have turned to the state for financial assistance because there is a shortage of grass for livestock.
The country often experiences periods of drought, but over the past 20 to 30 years, they have become more frequent.
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