Europe’s droughts are affecting tourism – The Core IAS

Europe’s droughts are affecting tourism

Context: Much of Europe is experiencing persistent drought. From Italy to Spain, holiday makers face restrictions as a result.


  • Italy’s Lake Garda has a new tourist attraction — visitors can now walk to Rabbit Island, a tiny outcrop in the middle of the lake, instead of having to take a boat.
  • The lake’s devastatingly low water levels have exposed sand banks and stones that forms a path from the shore to the outcrop, which is also known as San Biagio Island.
  • Yet, the tourist novelty underlines a disastrous ecological situation in northern Italy. The region has become so dry that the water level of Lake Garda, Italy’s largest lake, is only half of what it normally is at this time of year.
  • Northern Italy is currently experiencing a dry period that has already lasted two years. This winter has seen unusually high temperatures and low precipitation.
  • “Even in the Alps, there has been below-average rainfall and very little snow,” he says, and the previous winter saw a similar situation. This has led to a water scarcity in the region that is also affecting the Po, Italy’s longest river, and a vital source of water for agriculture.
  • The tourist board responsible for Lake Garda is trying to avoid making the situation appear overly dramatic.
  • Fluctuations in the level of Lake Garda are normal. The lake, which has an average depth of 133 meters (436 feet), is the country’s most important drinking water reservoir and is therefore constantly monitored. Currently, all water sports are allowed, and ferries are running to schedule.
  • Last summer, communities around Lake Garda put water saving measures in place such as a ban on the filling of private pools. Water restrictions are likely to go into effect again this year. Adding a campaign is currently being prepared to raise tourists.

Where is the water?

  • Catalan authorities put the first austerity measures in place a few months ago. These include a cancellation of the Font Magica fountain spectacle that typically includes a music and light show and draws crowds on summer evenings in Barcelona. The fountain will stay dry until further notice.
  • Meanwhile, the situation has eased somewhat on the popular Spanish vacation island of Mallorca. Large parts of the island were affected by drought in recent years, and there were fears that the upcoming tourist season could completely exhaust the already scarce water resources.
  • At the end of February, however, Storm Juliette moved across the island, bringing with it abundant rain and even snow. Some weather stations recorded five times the average rainfall. After months of falling water levels, Mallorca’s reservoirs are now at 90% capacity.

The future is dry

But back in northern Italy, scientist didn’t expect the drought to break. The upcoming summer threatens to be “very difficult,” especially considering that it would have to rain for more than a few days to make up the water deficit.

It would have to rain through the entire spring for that to happen, We’re dealing with the most dramatic effect of climate change here.

Source: Indian Exppress

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