Europe heatwave: Some people only have four hours of water daily amid drought alert

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A village of 800 people in Spain can only get water for four hours a day as Europe continues to swelter under a heatwave.

The unprecedented temperatures scouring the continent have caused the taps in Bonastre, just south of Barcelona, to run dry as almost 50 per cent of the continent is under a drought warning.

Residents only have access to water from 7am to 10am and 8pm to 11pm each day, reports Euronews.

“We have in theory four hours of water per day,” 43-year-old Mario Ferrario said.

“I take my daughters early in the morning to summer school and we don’t have water.”

At the end of July, Spain’s reservoirs were at just 40 per cent capacity. The country is facing its driest climate for at least 1,200 years, according to a report in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Wildfires tore through parts of France, Spain and Portugal on Thursday as heatwaves baked Europe and the head of the European Space Agency urged immediate action to curb the climate crisis.

More than 1,000 firefighters, backed by water-bombing planes, battled for a third day a "monster" blaze that has forced thousands from their homes and scorched thousands of hectares of forest in France’s southwestern Gironde region.

The heatwave is affecting crops in farms throughout Europe (EU)
The heatwave is affecting crops in farms throughout Europe (EU)

With a dangerous cocktail of blistering temperatures, tinder-box conditions and wind fanning the flames, President Emmanuel Macron said several European Union nations were deploying reinforcements to help beat back the blaze.

"It’s an ogre, a monster," said Gregory Allione from the French firefighters body FNSPF said.

Heatwaves, floods and crumbling glaciers in recent weeks have heightened concerns over the climate crisis and the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather across the globe.

The head of the European Space Agency, Josef Aschbacher, said rising land temperatures and shrinking rivers, as measured from space, left no doubt about the toll on agriculture and other industries from climate change.

ESA’s Copernicus Sentinel-3 satellite series has measured "extreme" land surface temperatures of more than 45C (113F) in Britain, 50C in France and 60C in Spain in recent weeks.

"It’s pretty bad. We have seen extremes that have not been observed before," Aschbacher told Reuters.