The current drought period, which started in the Czech Republic in 2015 and has not ended yet, is the worst in 500 years, according to the data of the InterSucho scientific team.
Researchers from the Institute of Global Change Research of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and Mendel University in Brno have included in the calculations not only the total precipitation, which is also in deficit for the last five years, but also evaporation rates. The researchers point out that due to higher average temperatures than in the past, more water will evaporate from the landscape even if the Czech Repuyblic begins experiencing average precipitation levels again.
The average precipitation deficit is around 400 millimeters nationwide for five years, however, for water levels to be the same as in the period between 1961 and 2000, it would take twice this number to reach normal levels in the Czech Republic.
In the south of South Moravia, one of the driest areas in the Czech Republic, the drought caused a deficit of up to 1,700 liters per square meter in the past five years. The situation in the Northwest Bohemia is similar.
Mountains suffer drastic drop in moisture
“However, compared to the average, there is a much bigger difference in water levels in the mountains. The water balance is still positive there, but previously there was a water surplus of hundreds of liters per square meter per year,” said Miroslav Trnka from the team of researchers, pointing out that water levels in these areas dropped significantly.
“Back in 2018, we could say that the drought was not that bad as in the 1990s when water was imported to a number of municipalities in tanks. Now, the drought is worse than then, but it is not so extreme because since then the daily consumption per person has dropped from about 140 to 90 liters,” added Trnka.
He also emphasizes that Czech farmers, their land management, and the landscape profile should not be blamed as many Central European countries currently suffer from drought.
“Fortunately, episodes of drought in Central Europe have always ended but the changing climate partly explains why this episode did not end after the third or fourth year as in the past,” Trnka concluded.
Remix News reported yesterday on the issue of drought affecting Poland and Germany, with experts warning that this year may be the worst ever on record if dry conditions continue.