2018 has been exceptionally dry

2018 is set to go down as the year during which it rained on the lowest number of days since records began. With a month still left until the new year, 296 liters less rain per m² has fallen this year than in an average year. This means that it is pretty much impossible that the shortfall will be made good during December, a month during which an average of 81 litres/m² of precipitation (be it rain, sleet or snow) falls.   

Speaking in an interview with Saturday’s edition of the daily ‘Het Nieuwsblad’ the  Royal Metrological Institute’s David Dehenauw said that even in record year’s no more than 172 l/m² of precipitation fell during December which means that the shortfall built up during the year will never be made good.

The shortfall is particularly problematical with regard to ground water levels. 8 out of 10 groundwater measuring points show groundwater levels that are already extremely low. Around half of our drinking water comes from ground water. Consequently it is important that there is a lot of rain over the next few months if water supply issues are to be averted during the summer of 2019.    

Farmers and industry also often use groundwater

"In the past we have never gone into the summer with levels that were seriously behind, this is a completely new situation. It is certain something were need to monitor closely” a Flemish Environment Agency Spokesperson told the press agency Belga.