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Drought in Poland threatens Narew. “Everywhere is dry”

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Drought affects more and more areas of Poland, and the water level in rivers is getting lower and lower. In the Narew Valley, the water level in some sections drops about seven centimeters a day – explained Mariusz Sachmaciński from the Łomża Landscape Park of the Narew Valley on TVN24. He added that this would be enough to expose the bottom of the river soon.

Drought begins to affect more and more parts of Poland, bringing with it a huge burden on the natural environment. Extremely dry conditions affect individual species, including storksas well as entire ecosystems. Among them is the Narew – one of the few braided rivers in Europe.

“Everywhere is dry”

As Mariusz Sachmaciński, director of the Łomża Landscape Park of the Narew Valley explained on TVN24, the Narew is a lowland river, which in the section from the mouth of the Biebrza to the Kurpie Plain has its natural, untouched by man rhythm. However, extremely dry conditions can seriously disturb it.

“It carries a lot of water with it,” he said. – The average depth on the Narew is about 2.5 meters, and it has its pits, (…) which are from 9 to 13 meters deep, but the daily drops of 7 centimeters mean that the Narew will show its bottom in the near future – added.

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Sachmaciński added that the dry period is very worrying. The first water deficits were observed as early as May 10 and continue to this day – on average, such a serious decrease in the water level is recorded at the turn of July and August. Drops are noticeable both on the banks of the river and in wetlands surrounding the river valley.

– Despite the fact that this space is very diverse, it has many water reservoirs, such as oxbow lakes, swamps, drainage ditches, springs and peat bogs, everywhere is dry there – he said.

Lower and lower water level on the NarewTVN24

Polish Amazon in danger

A prolonged drought can have tragic consequences for the valuable Narew ecosystem. The waters of the river and the surrounding wetlands are home to many species that depend on water for their survival.

– Narew has its own interesting rhythm, which starts from late autumn, through spring, when thousands of flocks of various fish species come to spawn in the vicinity of the Narew Valley gorge – explained Sachmaciński. – Spring backwaters create an amazing spectrum, such an Amazon, so that the fry can grow here. (…) Falls in water will not allow us to maintain these stocks of fish species that stay here even until the end of July. We will lose these species, he added.

According to the data IMGW, this problem concerns not only Narew. Water levels in the basin Vistula and Odra rivers are arranged mainly in the zone of medium and low water, only locally high. In the coastal river basins, the water levels are mainly in the low water zone, and at sea stations – in the medium water zone.

Description of the hydrological situation in Poland, June 8, 2023IMGW

Main photo source: TVN24

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