Emmanuel Macron Pedro Sanchez Italy Spain Portugal France UPS Target Waters Southern Emmanuel Macron Pedro Sanchez Italy Spain Portugal France

The Guardian view on water politics in Europe: a new fault line

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I n April, Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, suggested that severe drought would become “one of the central political and territorial debates of our country in the coming years”.

That stark warning surely applies to southern Europe as a whole, as the prospect of another summer crisis looms, following a disastrously dry winter.An absence of melting snow from the Alps has left Italy’s Po River as shallow as during last year’s searingly hot summer.

In January and February, France recorded the highest number of rain-free days since records began, and water restrictions are in place in the Pyrénées-Orientales region.

About 90% of mainland Portugal is suffering from drought, judged to be severe in one-fifth of the country. In Spain, from Catalonia to Andalucía, unseasonable heat has contributed to reservoirs drying up and a disastrous drop in olive oil production.

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