It’s official: the land of dikes and canals has a water shortage

The Netherlands is officially in a state of water shortage, as of Wednesday. Here is what the situation means for you.

The warm weather this summer has led to a long-lasting drought in the Netherlands. That means that what was an “imminent water shortage” in July has developed into an “actual water shortage” now in August.

Fresh water supply and quality

As strange as it sounds, the country of dikes, canals, rain, and reclaimed land, is lacking water. Climate change is upon us, and even the (usually) soaking wet Nederland is feeling the consequences.

Drought means that the supply of fresh water is lower than it should be, but it can also influence the quality of the drinking water.

With less water flowing, the chance of unhealthy bacteria growing increases, creating a risk of lower quality drinking water.

Another risk connected to drought is that salt water might start rising into the groundwater, and the soil, which is a challenge for Dutch agriculture.

Drought phase 2

In crisis times, new and confusing terms come up, and it’s not always easy to know what they all mean. Nowadays, “drought phase 2” can be heard everywhere, and you might be wondering what it means.

In short, it means that a crisis team will be set up to deal with the situation. The team will be in charge of deciding where our precious fresh water goes.

It’s been four years since the last time drought phase 2 was announced, so although there’s no need for panic, the situation should definitely be taken seriously.

What can you do about it?

So far, there is no imminent danger of your taps running dry. That being said, the general advice is now to limit your freshwater consumption as much as you can.

READ MORE | The Dutch built cities on sinking land: how will this fare with climate change?

That means; prioritising important things like personal hygiene and hydration, and skipping less crucial things like having a clean car and watering your lawn.

How will you help combat the drought? Tell us all about it in the comments below!

Feature Image:Freepik
Juni Moltubak
Juni Moltubak
Juni moved to the Netherlands after realizing how expensive tuition fees in the UK are, and never regretted her choice of studying in The Hague. After three years of Political Science, she is ready for a new adventure — an internship at DutchReview! When you don’t see her typing on her laptop she can be found strolling around Haagse Bos or sitting in her lovely garden scrolling through interior design TikToks.
  1. The Climate Worshippers Will be rejoicing about this for sure. Less water, less food/crops, more people starving and isn’t that better to Save The Climate! To paraphrase the pigs in Animal Farm; “Life good, Climate Better!”


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