Expert warns that Switzerland could face water shortage in 2 months
Low rainfall in recent weeks has put farmers and weather experts on high alert for water shortages. As northern Italy and Canton Ticino battle against drought, scientists in Switzerland worry that shortages could hit the rest of the country in just two months’ time.
Swiss farmers concerned about possible water shortages
According to a report in La Liberte, farmers in Switzerland are concerned that imminent water shortages could devastate crops, as changes in the Swiss weather continue to cause problems for the water supply. On top of the warm, dry weather seen in 2022, this winter season has seen significantly less snow than usual in the mountains, meaning that there is less glacial meltwater to use to hydrate the fields.
Because of the reduction, many farmers were hoping for greater rainfall than usual to make up for the loss of meltwater, but in fact, quite the opposite has happened - at one point in January, it hadn't rained in some Swiss cantons for over five weeks. According to La Liberte’s interview with hydrologist Massimiliano Zappa, the country would have to see twice as much precipitation as usual between now and mid-April in order to offset the current shortfall.
Expert believes cantons should introduce restrictions on water
According to Zappa, the best way to prevent problems is to introduce restrictions at the earliest stage possible. Restrictions suggested by the hydrologist include bans on filling swimming pools, watering gardens or cleaning cars. Zappa also stressed that the implications of freak weather are deeper than many of us may think. "The water system has a memory," says the hydrologist, explaining that the hot and dry summer of 2022 will continue to have an effect for years to come.