Spain faces second year of drought

11-01-2007 | |

The drought has entered its second year in Spain and there is no sign of relief in the short term. Spanish farmers are preparing for losses and the government is taking emergency measures.

Spain suffered its worst drought since
records began in 2005/06 and the National Meteorological Institute (INM) says
the drought persisted in the first quarter of the new water year, which runs
from September to August. National water reserves currently stand at just 45% of
capacity, according to environment ministry data. It is not expected to rain in
the coming 2 months.

Crops devastated
Spain’s cereal
crop was devastated by last year’s drought. For this crop year, the regional
government of Andalusia has already taken measures to help farmers face the
drought. Farmers can leave 50% of their land fallow and still claim subsidies –
the same amount as last year, but up sharply from the 10% set aside in good
“People are fearing the worst, that they are not going to be able to
sow crops that need a lot of water… for example cotton and maize,” said Ramon
Garcia, crop analyst with farmers’ union COAG.

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