Farmers are facing criticism after reports that they have been draining water from rivers due to an ongoing drought. Natuurpunt has already identified several cases of this kind in Hesbaye and Campine, reports Belang van Limburg, Het Laatste Nieuws, Gazet van Antwerpen and Het Nieuwsblad. “For some weeks, significant amounts of water have been drained from our water courses to fill farmers’ reservoirs. Tractors can even be seen bearing Dutch number plates,” the president of environmental organisation Natuurpunt Limburg, Stefan Carolus, declared.
“Last summer, we were confronted with a serious drought in Flanders, especially in Limburg. The problem appears to be repeating itself this year, and there is a danger of the situation worsening in the coming months. If the problem continues at such a rate, it will mean disaster for nature and agriculture,” Stefan Carolus warned. “The governor would do well to introduce a ban now on water abstraction from unnavigable watercourses,” he announced.
The Flemish government is currently working on this. “We have finished preparatory work on the order so that the next legislative session can get on with passing it,” the Flemish minister of the environment, Koen Van den Heuvel (CD&V) announced.
In the meantime, experts are advising to save water.