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GDO Analytical Report: Drought in Europe - July 2022

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Executive summary

• The severe drought affecting several regions of Europe since the beginning of the year continues expanding and worsening. Dry conditions are related to a wide and persistent lack of precipitation combined with early heatwaves in May and June.

• The severe precipitation deficit has impacted river discharges widely across Europe.

• Reduced stored water volume has had severe impacts on the energy sector for both hydropower generation and cooling systems of other power plants.

• Competition for water resources is high and started earlier than usual. Water and heat stresses have reduced crop yield and crop yield potential Water supply may be compromised in the coming months

• Drier than normal conditions are forecasted for the next three months in large areas of Europe.

Combined Drought Indicator (CDI)

A staggering portion of Europe is currently exposed to warning and alert drought levels, associated with either soil moisture deficit or its combination with vegetation stress (Fig. 1). Compared to the previous months drought hazard has been increasing, especially in: France, Romania and neighboring regions, western Germany, and several Mediterranean regions (central and southern Italy, southern Greece, Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina and the Iberian Peninsula). Local recovery is observed in limited areas of France and the eastern Mediterranean. Regions already affected by drought in spring (e.g. northern Italy, south-eastern France, some areas in Hungary and Romania), are still under similar or worse conditions.