The EU fears the consequences of a severe drought! The European Drought Observatory’s precipitation map shows extreme dryness across large swathes of northern Europe. Additionally, farmers in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands and Finland have been affected by the warmest months on record when it comes to average temperatures across Europe. This is a very tough and uncertain time for them as the circumstances reach catastrophic proportions, reflected by the picture below, taken by Alexander Gerst from the International Space Station (ISS).
The severity of the situation, which differs per region, is recognized. Multiple parties claim it is desirable to support farmers who suffer from the extreme climatic conditions. The EU Commission and the Member States should implement tools to alleviate the adverse effects. To pick out one country, the Netherlands has decided to remove practical bottlenecks by making rules more flexible. For example, a longer period of exertion of manure on fields is used. The Netherlands also appeals to the European Commission for leniency in the rules for the ploughing of grassland and the greening conditions. Such an easing should lead to more cattle feed available later this year.
Next to these adaptations of the rules, the reuse of water and smart agricultural techniques are important ways to save on water resources and improve water quality. In this context, precision agriculture and IoT play a crucial role. By using IoT we will be able to manage natural resources more efficiently and minimize the environmental impact. By detecting bottlenecks, finding places where water is wasted and recommending optimal variables, IoT helps ailing water infrastructure and makes sure no drop is wasted.