Hydrological deficit in Flanders exceeds that of 1976 and 2018

The hydrological precipitation deficit - the combination of low precipitation and high evaporation - has exceeded that of both 1976 and 2018 for the first time. So says hydrologist Patrick Willems on Twitter.

According to the KU Leuven professor, the hydrological deficit amounts to more than 350 millimetres, or 350 litres of water per square kilometre. This is an average for all of Flanders, with some regions - such as parts of East and West Flanders - being harder hit than others.

The precipitation deficit is calculated from the start of the hydrological summer, on 1 April. From then on, proportionally more water evaporates than precipitation falls. So now, after more than 150 days, we have a historically high deficit, according to the data of Patrick Willems.

Such a hydrological deficit occurs on average about once every 50 years, according to the table on Twitter. It was not only the lack of rain that was striking this year, but also the large amount of evaporation due to the abundant sunshine and high temperatures, Willems said earlier.




© BELGA PHOTO JAMES ARTHUR GEKIERE - Lock (water naviguation) Sluis te Asper, in Gavere, Friday 19 August 2022. Low rainfall since March and the extremely dry weather of July result in a critically low groundwater level and a low flow level of waterways in Flanders.

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