The Netherlands declared an official water shortage on Wednesday as the low-lying “land of water” was battered by Europe’s harsh summer.
The Dutch government has said it is looking at more measures to conserve water amid the drought, and authorities have already imposed restrictions on farming and shipping.
The country is protected from the sea by a famous system of dams, dams and canals but is still particularly vulnerable to climate change.
“The Netherlands is the land of water, but here too our water is precious,” said Minister for Infrastructure and Water Management, Mark Harpers, in a statement.
Parts of the Netherlands have already banned farmers from spraying their crops with surface water, in a blow to the world’s second largest agricultural exporter after the United States.
Harpers added that some shipping channel locks have also been suspended, as salt water infiltrates from the sea into some rivers due to low water levels in them.
He said priority will now be given to ensuring vital dams remain secure, then drinking water and energy supplies.