Can Drought Be Prevented? Slovakia Aims to Try
Climate Change, Combating Desertification and Drought, Environment, Europe, Featured, Food & Agriculture, Headlines, Natural Resources, Water & Sanitation BRATISLAVA, Jan 22 2018 (IPS) – A landmark programme to combat drought set to be implemented in the small Central European country of Slovakia could be an inspiration for other states as extreme weather events become more frequent, the environmental action group behind the plan has said.
The H2odnota v krajine (Value of H2O in the country) plan, which is expected to be approved by the Slovak government this Spring, includes a range of measures which, unlike many plans for drought, is proactive and focuses on prevention and mitigation instead of reacting to drought once it has occurred.
He told IPS: “A few of the measures in this plan have been adopted in other countries as part of climate change adaptation, but Slovakia is the first country in the region to have this kind of action plan to combat drought.
“It is a landmark plan…other countries could look at this and be inspired and say, yes, this is something we should copy.” The focus of the plan is on preventive measures in a number of areas, specifically agriculture and forestry, urban landscape, water management, research and environmental education.
It also covers water management, dealing with preparatory work for reconstruction of smaller reservoirs of water and green infrastructure, including wetlands restoration.
“Other countries have plans for drought, but in some, such as the USA, measures are related to dealing with drought after the event.
Last year, some parts of the country saw the driest first half of the year in over six decades while there was a very severe drought during 2015 when there were 23 days classified as super-tropical, i.e. with maximum temperatures of over 35 degrees Celsius.
As the plan is focused on prevention, its effectiveness during times of drought may not be immediately noticed by many.
But while the adoption of the plan has been welcomed and it seems set to benefit Slovaks even in times when there is no drought, the need for it at all highlights growing concerns over the rapid changes in the country’s climate and what they could mean for its water supplies and use.
Slovakia isn’t spared from drought.” More frequent and intense droughts are almost certain in the future, climatologists predict, as the climate in Slovakia changes.