According to a report released today by the Commission, because of an "exceptionally dry and hot winter, soil moisture and river flow already have significant anomalies" in countries such as France, Spain and Italy.

In the Alpine region, snow accumulation "was well below average" and was "even lower" than last winter, which in principle will lead to a "sharp reduction in the contribution of river flow" during the spring.

Brussels warns that "the precipitation of the coming weeks will be crucial in determining the evolution of the current drought" and how it could affect populations.

The most negative and also most likely forecast is that "Europe and the Mediterranean region could experience an extreme summer this year, similar to 2022."

Therefore, the European Commission recommends monitoring water use and coordination between Member States to combat this problem effectively, as it is expected that this scenario will become the norm going forward.

The report came in the wake of World Water Day, which will be celebrated on Wednesday, March 22, and on the heels of the United Nations Water Conference in New York between Wednesday and Friday.

The Commission also warned that "most countries in the south and west of the European Union," including Portugal, "are affected by an incipient drought where concerns about water supply, agriculture and energy production are growing."