Agriculture minister says drinking water should suffice, but drought losses will be huge


Minister of Agriculture Miroslav Toman has assured the public that despite the severe drought, which experts say is the worst in 500 years, the country’s reserves of drinking water are still adequate. Despite this the situation is serious and more action is needed urgently, he said.

The water level in streams is between 6 and 30 percent of the long-term April average, although the country’s dams are full. They retain 485 million cubic meters of water, which should secure the country's consumption needs for 18 months.

The Ministry of Agriculture is working to select 31 places where new water reservoirs could be built. Last year, it spent CZK 13.7 billion on measures to fight the drought.

This year's damage to agricultural crops caused by drought will probably be greater than last year, Toman said, with losses of up to 40 percent in some areas.