Zeeland farmers barred from using surface water

24th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

Farmers in the province of Zeeland have been banned from using surface water to irrigate their crops because of a continuing drought.

The regional water authority Scheldestromen announced its decision on Tuesday. The water level in ditches and watercourses in the region has been falling for weeks. The irrigation ban is intended to slow down the decrease.

The drought has no effect on the stability of Zeeland’s dykes, even though cracks will soon appear in the layers of clay which form the main body of most of the province’s dykes. In September, ahead of the storm season, the water authority will conduct a series of inspections to ensure the cracks have closed again.

The dykes in many other regions of the Netherlands consist of layers of peat which are much more sensitive to the effects of drought.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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