Supplying freshwater "a challenge" in more and more places: Dutch Water Boards
The supply of sufficient freshwater is becoming “a challenge” in more and more places in the Netherlands, said the Union of Water Boards. The water level in the rivers is still falling, the precipitation deficit is already above that of the 5 percent driest years, and any rain showers in the next two weeks will have little effect on this.
Nine water boards use water from the IJsselmeer to maintain the water level in ditches, rivers, and canals. The IJsselmeer also serves as a freshwater supply. Rijkswaterstaat raised the level of the IJsselmeer, for this reason, weeks ago. The water level in the lake is still sufficient, but it is falling, according to the water boards in the north of the country. This is due to evaporation and too little supply from the descending rivers. More and more watercourses are drying up.
At the Afsluitdijk, the IJsselmeer is also increasingly affected by the intrusion of salt water from the Wadden Sea. The water boards are working hard on draining to stop the salt water. At the drinking water intake point at Andijk, the salt content is not yet too bad, according to the water boards. They’ll install emergency pumps in the Markemeer near Muiden to maintain the water level.
The Rijn discharge at Lobith may drop below 750 cubic meters per second in mid-August. According to Rijkswaterstaat, that is very rare at this time of year and will lead to more interventions in the water system. The water level in the Maas is also low, but causes fewer problems.
Reporting by ANP