2022 European drought

During the summer of 2022, parts of Europe experienced drought conditions exacerbated by heat waves.[1] On 9 August, a senior European Commission researcher said it seems to be Europe's worst year in 500 years.[2] A report from the Global Drought Observatory has confirmed this.[3] The drought had serious consequences for hydropower generation and the cooling systems of nuclear power plants, as the drought reduced the amount of river water available for cooling.[4][5] Agriculture in Europe was also negatively affected by the drought.[6][7]

2022 European drought
Drought alerts in Europe as of 21 July 2022.


The dried up Leysse at the entrance to Chambéry on 28 July 2022.
The Huveaune dried up in Aubagne in July 2022.
Dried trees in Ravilloles, Jura
Drought alert in France by departments on 12 August 2022.
Parched Catton Park near Norwich on 20 August 2022

Some parts of France have experienced a drought.[8][9] Two thirds of the country is at crisis alert.[10] It has reportedly been caused by the historic heatwaves that have hit the country.[11] July was reportedly the driest month in France for 60 years.[12] By August, 100 villages had run out of drinking water.[13] Water use has been restricted in nearly all metropolitan departments of France.[14] The Prime Minister of France Élisabeth Borne has called it "the country's worst drought in history".[15] On 5 August, she announced the creation of an inter-ministerial crisis unit.[16]

The national corn harvest is expected to be 18.5% lower than 2021.[17] Milk shortages are expected to follow.[18] Conversely, salt farms have benefited from the hot temperatures.[19]


The River Rhine's water level fell so much that shipping was affected.[20][21] The water level in Emmerich sunk to -3 cm, being 10 cm lower than the previous record from 2018. The normal water level is 239 cm.[22][23] Due to the low water levels, the cost of transporting goods multiplied because ships were only able to load 25-35% of their usual freight.[24]

On 24 August, 54.3% of the German area was affected by an extraordinary drought. Further 24.6% by an extreme and further 12.2% by a severe drought.[25]

Many districts and states banned water extraction from creeks, rivers and lakes, the watering of lawns, filling of pools or cleaning cars.[25][26]

The number of forest fires in the state of Brandenburg by mid August is three times as high than in all of 2021.[27]


A state of emergency was declared in July 2022.[28] Drought was blamed for the deaths of dozens of cows.[29] Northern Italy experienced a drying up of important rivers like the Po.[30]

The longest river in Italy, the Po river, dried up in the hot temperatures


Water restrictions were introduced in Romania in July 2022 in preparation for drought.[31]


Low water levels in the Danube River exposed the wrecks of dozens of German warships, sunk in late 1944 to block passage to the Soviets. The wrecks are still laden with ammunition and explosives, and present a safety hazard.[32][33]

Spain and PortugalEdit

The Iberian Peninsula is experiencing a drought. Water shortages have been prevalent in Spain, so rationing has been implemented.[34] Portugal has also declared a drought crisis.[35][better source needed]

United KingdomEdit

July 2022 was the driest July in England since 1935.[36][37] According to Sky News, in one in seven counties, it was the driest July since records began in 1836.[38] As a result, hosepipe bans were introduced in some parts of South East England.[39]

Fields and heathland dried up.[40] On 12 August, a hosepipe ban came into force by South East Water.[41] Drought-like conditions also affected South West England.[42]

On 12 August, a drought was declared[43] in eight of the 14 Environment Agency areas: Devon and Cornwall, Solent and South Downs, Kent and South London, Herts and North London, East Anglia, Thames, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire, and the East Midlands.[44] Electricity supplies are reportedly threatened.[45] Reservoir levels are at a 25-year low.[46] A drought was declared in the West Midlands region on 23 August, with the Environment Agency warning it had been using groundwater resources and reserves from reservoirs in Wales to help maintain the flows of the River Severn, which supplies six million people in the area.[47]

On 15 August, a hosepipe ban was introduced in Cornwall for the first time in 26 years.[48] On 18 August, a hosepipe ban in South West Wales was introduced affecting Pembrokeshire and parts of Carmarthenshire.[49] Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water said that it would be likely to last into September.[50] Hosepipe bans were also declared by Thames Water.[51] On 19 August, a drought was declared in north Ceredigion, Teifi, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthen, Swansea, Llanelli, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend.[52] The River Black Bourn in Suffolk is reportedly "near dead".[53]

On 30 August, a drought was declared in South West England, covering Bristol, Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Dorset and parts of Wiltshire.[54]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "'Very critical situation': Almost half of EU countries suffering from drought". Sky News. Retrieved 8 August 2022.
  2. ^ "Europe's drought on course to be worst for 500 years, European Commission researcher warns". Sky News. Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  3. ^ "Europe's drought the worst in 500 years - report". BBC News. 23 August 2022. Retrieved 24 August 2022.
  4. ^ "Heat and Drought in Europe Strain Energy Supply". The New York Times. 18 August 2022.
  5. ^ "Europe's driest summer in 500 years threatens crops, energy production". Reuters. 22 August 2022.
  6. ^ "What Europe's Drought Means for the Price of Meat and Milk". Bloomberg. 12 August 2022.
  7. ^ "'There's no sign of any rain coming to us': Europe's extreme weather risks smaller harvests and higher prices". CNBC. 31 August 2022.
  8. ^ Breeden, Aurelien (5 August 2022). "'Most Severe' Drought Grips France as Extreme Heat Persists in Europe". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 6 August 2022.
  9. ^ "France drought: Parched towns left short of drinking water". BBC News. 5 August 2022. Retrieved 6 August 2022.
  10. ^ "Another week of high temperatures means no respite for much of drought-hit France". Sky News. Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  11. ^ "France's 'most severe' drought leaves towns short of drinking water". ITV News. 5 August 2022. Retrieved 6 August 2022.
  12. ^ "France having worst drought ever, says Prime Minister - CBBC Newsround". Retrieved 8 August 2022.
  13. ^ "PM Borne says France going through 'severe' drought, 100 villages out of drinking water". Le Monde.fr. 5 August 2022. Retrieved 6 August 2022.
  14. ^ "'Historic' drought prompts French government into action". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 8 August 2022.
  15. ^ "France Facing 'Most Severe Drought' Ever Recorded In Country". Outlook India. 5 August 2022. Retrieved 6 August 2022.
  16. ^ "Sécheresse : plus de cent communes sans eau potable, Elisabeth Borne annonce l'ouverture d'une cellule interministérielle de crise". Le Monde.fr (in French). 5 August 2022. Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  17. ^ "Temperatures Rise as France Tackles Worst Drought on Record". VOA. Retrieved 8 August 2022.
  18. ^ Reuters (7 August 2022). "Temperatures rise as France tackles its worst drought on record". Reuters. Retrieved 8 August 2022.
  19. ^ Tessier, Yann (8 August 2022). "The unwitting winners of France's drought: salt farmers". Reuters. Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  20. ^ "Drought hits Germany's Rhine River: 'We have 30cm of water left'". BBC News. 12 August 2022. Retrieved 14 August 2022.
  21. ^ "Rhine water levels fall to new low as Germany's drought hits shipping". the Guardian. 12 August 2022. Retrieved 14 August 2022.
  22. ^ "ELWIS - Wasserstände & Vorhersagen an schifffahrtsrelevanten Pegeln". www.elwis.de. Retrieved 26 August 2022.
  23. ^ Balser, Markus (21 August 2022). "Niedrigwasser: Pegel in Emmerich wieder im Plus". RP ONLINE (in German). Retrieved 26 August 2022.
  24. ^ tagesschau.de. "Niedrigwasser belastet Industrie- und Stromproduktion". tagesschau.de (in German). Retrieved 26 August 2022.
  25. ^ a b NACHRICHTEN, n-tv. "So trocken ist es aktuell in Deutschland und Europa". n-tv.de (in German). Retrieved 26 August 2022.
  26. ^ "Hessen: So lebt es sich im Trinkwassernotstand – Folgen für die Bevölkerung". www.t-online.de (in German). 7 August 2022. Retrieved 26 August 2022.
  27. ^ "Schon jetzt mehr Waldbrände in Brandenburg als im gesamten Vorjahr". www.rbb24.de (in German). Retrieved 26 August 2022.
  28. ^ Clifford, Catherine. "Italy has declared a state of emergency because of drought: 'There is no doubt that climate change is having an effect,' the prime minister said". CNBC. Retrieved 18 August 2022.
  29. ^ "Drought blamed for dozens of cow poisoning deaths in Italy". phys.org. Retrieved 18 August 2022.
  30. ^ "Serious drought hitting Europe, wider world". DW.COM. 13 August 2022. Retrieved 23 August 2022.
  31. ^ Andra Timu, Irina Vilcu (6 July 2022). "Romanians Urged to Save Water as Drought Threatens Crops, Energ". www.bloomberg.com. Retrieved 8 August 2022.
  32. ^ "Čišćenje Dunava od NATO bombi". Retrieved 30 August 2022.
  33. ^ Fedja, Grulovic (19 August 2022). "Sunken WW2 German Warships Exposed by Low water Levels on Danube". MarineLink. Retrieved 20 August 2022.
  34. ^ "Drought forces water use rethink in Spain | eNCA". www.enca.com. Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  35. ^ "Drought in Spain comes from the Azores - World News | TakeToNews". 7 July 2022. Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  36. ^ "Driest July in England since 1935". Met Office. Retrieved 8 August 2022.
  37. ^ "UK drought: are farmers facing the crop failures of 1976 all over again?". The Conversation. Retrieved 8 August 2022 – via Yahoo! News.
  38. ^ "For one in seven counties it was the driest July since records began in 1836, Sky News analysis reveals". Sky News. Retrieved 12 August 2022.
  39. ^ Kirby, Dean (7 August 2022). "Official drought could soon be declared in parts of England with millions facing hosepipe bans". inews.co.uk. Retrieved 8 August 2022.
  40. ^ "'Really poor judgement': Drought looms but council continue to water patches of field". Bournemouth Echo. Retrieved 12 August 2022.
  41. ^ "UK heatwave: South East Water hosepipe ban comes into force". BBC News. 12 August 2022. Retrieved 12 August 2022.
  42. ^ "Drought expected to be declared in the South West tomorrow". Sky News. Retrieved 12 August 2022.
  43. ^ MacLellan, Kylie (12 August 2022). "UK government officially declares drought in parts of England". Reuters. Retrieved 12 August 2022.
  44. ^ Gatten, Emma (12 August 2022). "Drought declared across half of England". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 12 August 2022.
  45. ^ "Climate change: Drought highlights dangers for electricity supplies". BBC News. 13 August 2022. Retrieved 13 August 2022.
  46. ^ "The reservoirs in England worst affected by drought, with levels at a 25-year low last month". Sky News. Retrieved 13 August 2022.
  47. ^ "West Midlands: Drought status declared by Environment Agency". 23 August 2022. Retrieved 23 August 2022 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  48. ^ "UK heatwave: Hosepipe ban in Cornwall first in 26 years". BBC News. 15 August 2022. Retrieved 15 August 2022.
  49. ^ "Drought sees first hosepipe ban in Wales since '89". BBC News. 18 August 2022. Retrieved 22 August 2022.
  50. ^ "Welsh hosepipe ban set to last 'at least well into September'". ITV News. 19 August 2022. Retrieved 22 August 2022.
  51. ^ King, Jordan (17 August 2022). "Map shows where Thames Water hosepipe ban is in force across the South". Metro. Retrieved 22 August 2022.
  52. ^ "Drought declared in parts of Wales after water levels plummet". The Guardian. 19 August 2022. Retrieved 22 August 2022.
  53. ^ "Suffolk chalk stream 'close to dead' due to lack of water". BBC News. 17 August 2022. Retrieved 24 August 2022.
  54. ^ "Drought declared across South West England". 30 August 2022. Retrieved 30 August 2022 – via www.bbc.co.uk.