Limburg groundwater level shows first signs of recovery


The first area of Limburg to recover from drought conditions offers hope for the rest of the province

But still too warm

The groundwater level is back to normal in De Wijers, a wetland in Limburg. It is the first area in the province where the level has returned to normal following the abnormally warm summers of the previous two years.

The rains that fell over the last several days were enough to push the levels up to average. “Water is now standing in the ponds of De Wijers,” forest warden Raf Spelkens told VRT, “so it looks like the conditions will be favourable for amphibians again soon.”

Groundwater levels are still low across the rest of the province, however. “Look at the military base in Leopoldsburg, for instance,” Spelkens said. “Usually at this time of year, water is standing in the tracks left by the tanks, but right now it just seeps back into the ground. A whole lot more rain is going to have to fall before the levels return to normal there.”

The De Wijers region, meanwhile – known as “the land of 1,000 ponds” – has other problems at the moment. It’s too warm. “The frogs are already making an appearance, but it’s much too early,” said Spelkens. “The hazel trees and blackthorn bushes are also starting to flower. I’m glad that it’s going to be colder next week.”

Photo: One of De Wijers’ many ponds