91% of Portugal hit with severe or extreme drought

© Reuters/Rafael Marchante FILE PHOTO: A horse eats grass next to an old irrigation canal near Evora, Portugal

Important Takeaways:

  • Portugal drought worsens, raising fears for crops and water supply
  • A severe drought spread across almost all of mainland Portugal in February, threatening crops and water supplies across a wider area than during the last record dry spell in 2005
  • The area of mainland Portugal suffering severe or extreme drought doubled in the first two weeks of February to cover 91% of its territory, the IPMA said (the meteorology agency)
  • Earlier this month, the Portuguese government ordered some hydropower dams to temporarily limit water use for electricity production and irrigation, prioritizing human consumption instead.
  • Environment Minister Joao Pedro Matos Fernandes said at the time the government would have to “go beyond these measures if the forecast became gloomier.”

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