Antwerp province appoints the country's first drought- and rain coordinator: "It's not looking good"

It has been very dry for several weeks now, and if doesn't rain any time soon, nature (and we) will have a problem. "Water levels in rivers and waterways are almost as low as in the dry summers of 2018 and 2019." 

His name is Kris Huijskens and he has been in the job since 1 April. Working for the province of Antwerp, he is the first drought coordinator in Belgium. His main task is to take soundings from other players and governments. In other provinces, several instances are responsible for water management, but Antwerp has coordinated things now, hoping it will be more efficient.

One of his first concrete tasks is the digitalisation of the measuring of water levels in various ditches and small rivers. Another task will be to think of ways to counter dry spells. The province could forbid farmers to take water from rivers, while at the same time it should invest in new methods to catch and store the rain at times when it actually falls. 

While we are only April, we already have a small drought problem. The past weeks have been very dry, and ground water levels hadn't fully recovered yet after two very dry summers. Next week is also expected to become dry, so farmers hope that the showers for tonight and tomorrow will bring enough rain. "We already see that water levels are almost as low as during the summer of 2018 and 2019."

Flanders is a very dry region, it's on number 23 on a list of 164 regions or countries battling drought problems. This is because we have many paved surfaces in our densely populated region: a lot of rain water is wasted when it falls, as it disappears immediately via the sewage system.