The GuardianThe Guardian

Europe’s Rivers Run Dry as Scientists Warn Drought Could be Worst in 500 Years

By Jon Henley

13 Aug 2022 · 3 min read

Editor's Note

We’ve featured articles on the drought drying up Europe’s waterways before. But this Guardian article pieces together the various ways the historic drought will immensely impact European life.

In places, the Loire can now be crossed on foot; France’s longest river has never flowed so slowly. The Rhine is fast becoming impassable to barge traffic. In Italy, the Po is 2 metres lower than normal, crippling crops. Serbia is dredging the Danube.

Across Europe, drought is reducing once-mighty rivers to trickles, with potentially dramatic consequences for industry, freight, energy and food production – just as supply shortages and price rises due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine bite.

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