Czech Republic Plagued by Drought

No topic is more talked about these days, especially in summer, than water scarcity. It is a topic of great importance for the Czech Republic, which is completely dependent on rainfall. However, it is not only a question of rainfall. The more important issue should be how to retain water in the landscape.

uschlá půda

The current Czech landscape cannot hold much water. The hardened soil spread over the fields allows water to run off and only a small portion is absorbed. The rest of the water flows into the topsoil, which not only depletes the land of nutrients, but also pollutes the waterways into which the water flows. Forests were once reservoirs, but today most of them have been decimated by the plagues of the woodlice.

obilí na poli

One option that was once commonly used was the construction of dams. The Vltava Cascade is an example. This method has advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that the amount of water immediately available is ensured. The flow rate can be regulated, and the amount of water available can be accurately determined. At the same time, the dam can serve as a recreational site. However, there are problems. First, most water is not used and evaporates almost needlessly. Another problem is the need to maintain the dam and the fact that this water is virtually only available to humans.

A better solution is so-called wetlands. These are areas where large amounts of water can be stored in the soil. They are found, for example, in the Ore Mountains. Indeed, wetlands may not be attractive places for people – water is not readily available and the ground is not very suitable for recreation because it is muddy. This is mainly because the water quickly returns to a smaller circulation and remains in nature.

vznášející se kapka vody

In the open countryside that covers most of the Czech Republic, the best solution is to use thickets, isolated trees and shrubs. However, this is not a very attractive approach for field owners. This is because for every square meter of trees and shrubs standing, there is one square meter that cannot be planted, thus reducing the yield. It must also be kept in mind that these natural features must be avoided when working in the field, which is quite difficult to do with heavy machinery. Therefore, it is to their advantage, from all angles, if the field consists of truly “clean” fields, with nothing to interfere with seeding or other operations.

The way out of this cycle is to make conservation laws regarding water management in the landscape more stringent. Another option is to compensate farmers for the benefits they lose due to these landforms at a level that makes it more profitable to leave them in place. However, this solution obviously poses many problems.

Water on the landscape is an issue that affects everyone. Because unless something changes, it is very likely that the Czech Republic will become a virtual desert in the near future.


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