Hungary is the 16th most endangered country in terms of damage caused by drought as a consequence of climate change, according to analytical news site Qubit.hu, citing a report by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
The WWF earlier reported that the frequency and intensity of drought in Hungary is likely to increase in the future. Since the 1970s, in the so-called sandbank between the Danube and the Tisza, groundwater levels have fallen by 2-5 meters on average, with the decrease amounting to as much as 10 meters in some places. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has classified the region as a semi-arid area for the last few years.
“Immediate and effective measures are needed to reduce drought damage. Irrigation or the construction of artificial reservoirs is no longer a sufficient solution - last year, several international examples have shown that even in the case of persistent drought, even the most significant reservoirs can dry up,” says the WWF.
Drought brought on by climate change already has severe consequences, qubit.hu says. Wheat, rape, maize, potatoes and peas have been hit by drought in Hungary since February this year, but the spectacular rise in fruit and vegetable prices is also partially due to drought.
György Raskó, an agricultural economist, told news site 444.hu in April that “during the current season the lack of wheat and rape due to drought could cause over HUF 100 billion of damages.”
A WWF briefing on water management in Europe can be read here.