West Flanders Governor Carl Decaluwé and the province’s drought committee have banned the pumping of water from the Ijzer Basin, starting on Wednesday, due to the ongoing drought.
The measure affects about 27 communes.
However, farmers are still allowed to draw water for their own livestock.
Water in the Ijzer Basin has dropped to a critical level due to the ongoing drought, a situation that has been worsened by the pumping of water to irrigate fields, hence the new ban, which for now is indefinite.
“The forecasts do not predict much water, so we had to intervene before any irreversible damage was done,” the Governor said. “There is also a risk of increased salinity.”
Strict cooperation with the police services is planned this year to enforce the ban.
In Wallonia, no special measure has been announced by the regional Crisis Centre’s Drought Cell, which met on Wednesday morning, according to a regional public-service spokeswoman. “The levels in waterways and the underground water have, in fact, dropped, but that’s a normal situation for the season,” she explained.