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Groundwater levels are rising, but still not enough

It has been raining a lot lately (including today) but this is still not enough to bring groundwater levels back to normal after the long, dry summer. This being said, the situation is improving in many parts of Flanders, says Katrien Smet of the Flemish Environment Agence VMM. 

First the good news: groundwater levels, which were at a historic low after last summer, have risen. "Especially West and East Flanders are enjoying higher levels than a month ago", says Katrien Smet. However, Limburg and Flemish Brabant are are worse off. "There we see that groundwater levels are still low, in some places even very low."

In many places, the levels have reached the annual average, but this is misleading, because they are usually at their peak at this time of year, at the end of winter, while they are usually lower in and after summer. "So we can say that for this time of year, they are still low", explains Katrien Smet. 

The conclusion: whether we like it or not, more rain is needed to bring water levels back to normal. Last summer, farmers ran into a lot of trouble, as the water reservoirs got empty. Members of the public were told to refrain from water-wasting activities such as washing your car,  filling the children's little swimming pool or sprinkling the garden.

The picture below (courtesy VMM and Databank Ondergrond Vlaanderen) shows the present situation, at the right hand side: the more dark brown and brown, the worse, the more white or blue, the better. 

Picture VMM/DOV