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On the Edge of Drought

Author: Julia (Young Reporter, Poland)

Have you ever imagined your life without water? To be honest, I hadn't. Except for minor warnings about the possible lack of water, it had never crossed my mind that I will be living with it. But my lack of attention and involvement hasn't saved me from experiencing the situation.

Forever, I have been living in Poland. I was always content with the climate and weather conditions here, besides a few complaints about rainy spring. But along with progressive global warming and climate change, things started to complicate. To give you a quick hint, Poland is located at the heart of the European continent, where a continental climate predominates. It means that extreme weather conditions are common here, including tornados, droughts, and cyclones.

So you can imagine my surprise, when I woke up two weeks ago and my mom said that we had run out of water, not because we didn't pay our bills but because there wasn't any water left in the pipeline. I was shocked because in my ignorance I have never thought that my country would be having a problem with water.

Since then the water has been accessible in restricted quantities. We are forbidden to use tap water for watering our gardens and washing our cars. The local government is trying to enforce rules by imposing fines. Everyone has got used to this situation and life goes on, but isn't it a sign of a coming problem?

As I talked with my friends, they all were concerned and worried at first, but as time went on it seemed like they forgot about the problem. One of them said that it doesn't matter because we have enough water to drink.

I was shocked by their blindness, but also it got me thinking about whether it is a real problem or just a minor inconvenience.

So I started digging into online forums, looking for people with similar experiences. It didn't take me a long time to find a student, who helped me delve into this problem.

As we were texting, she explained to me that my region is geologically prone to drought. She also pointed out that balanced and restricted use of water will forestall the shortage of water. So basically, for a typical citizen, it means collecting rainwater, planting more trees in the garden, and reasonable usage of water.

Through our conversation, she also underlined the worldwide results of the drought. She talked about types of agriculture which would be the most affected if drought spread in Europe. When a shortage of water appears, there is a high possibility that the crops will fail and we will be facing serious food problems. For most of the European countries, it will only be connected with higher prices and smaller diversity of products. But for less economically developed regions it will result in famine.

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