Could Andalusia’s Drought Crisis Affect Europe’s Food Supply?

The Knock-On effects Of Andalucia's Water Shortage

Water shortage. Credit: Paul Fleet/

The Andalucian Government is urging the EU to address its severe drought crisis. A situation which could impact the food supply for 500 million Europeans.

On Tuesday, August 29, following a Government Council meeting, the Andalucian Government revealed alarming statistics. The region’s agriculture sector, responsible for feeding up to 500 million Europeans, has seen a 35 per cent drop in production. Costs have skyrocketed by 113 per cent due to the lack of water, reports El Confidencial.

Andalucia Seeks EU Intervention

The government aims to discuss exceptional aid measures during the informal Council of Ministers meeting in Cordoba. Carmen Crespo, the Minister of Agriculture, Water and Rural Development, emphasised that the issue of feeding millions of Europeans ‘is an issue to be taken seriously.’

The Andalucian Government is seeking special treatment as the driest community in the EU. They have requested the Ministry of Agriculture to include priority measures in the upcoming meeting in Cordoba.

Financial Struggles And Policy Shifts

The main grievance is financial. The government wants to redirect EU funds initially allocated for COVID-19 recovery or the Ukraine war towards drought relief efforts. Specifically, they propose reallocating funds from the Rural Development Plan to severely affected sectors like olive farming.

The Spanish presidency of the EU offers a prime opportunity for Andalucia to press for extraordinary aid lines. The government also plans to use the Environment, Climate Change and Energy Commission meeting in Malaga at the end of September to gain recognition for Andalucia’s ‘water singularity.’

Mobilising Local Support

The Andalucian Government has already approved a €36.1 million aid package for local agriculture. Sectors like pig farming, beekeeping, chestnut trees, and vineyards will benefit. ‘And we are going to be very ready to look for possibilities with the European Union,’ assured the Andalucian counsellor.

Andalucian reservoirs are at just 22 per cent capacity, 16 points below the Spanish average. While some rain is expected, insufficient rainfall could lead to further restrictions. Currently, water-saving measures include a 10 per cent reduction in supply across most of the region.

Upcoming Challenges

Around 120 Andalucian municipalities are experiencing water cuts. Drought will be a priority issue in the resumption of the political course in the community. In the coming weeks, Parliament will debate the contentious irrigation law in the area of Doñana, a subject causing the Andalucian Government significant concern.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.


    • M

      31 August 2023 • 11:12

      The significant lack of reverse osmosis plants around the coast can only be put down to pure incompetence by the government. Spain is know for lack of rainfall during the summer seasons and a severe lack of political will to build these facilities in the past has led to this situation. Now attempting to redirect funds from elswhere to offset the present situation by these whimpish bureaucrats is pathetic.

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