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Posted Fri Jun 10 2011: from Financial Times, on DesdemonaDespair:
Danube river level falls to 100-year low, Europe's drought continues
While southern Europe experienced a rather damp spring, much of northern Europe is in the midst of a drought. In France, the months of March and May were the hottest for more than a century, while England and Wales had their second-driest spring since 1910. Between January and April, "severe" rain deficits were recorded in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Hungary and Austria, according to the European Commission. ... It is France's worst drought in more than 30 years, according to Bruno Le Maire, agriculture minister, with rainfall at barely 45 per cent of the average between 1971 and 2000. Restrictions on water use are already in place in nearly two-thirds of France's 96 mainland "departments".... Christian Steindl, managing director of the Ennshafen port on the Danube, says that, while low water levels are not unheard of, it is the timing that is unusual. "In August this can happen, but not in May."
[Read more stories about: weather extremes, drought]

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