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Europe’s water crisis is much worse than we thought

As drought dried up rivers and reservoirs across Europe this year, grim warnings from the past surfaced from the depths. Wenn du mich siehst, dann weine, read the inscription on a “Hunger Stone” exposed on a bank of the River Elbe in the Czech Republic: “If you see me, then weep.”

Still, as bad as the drought appeared on the surface, a new satellite analysis estimating freshwater availability in Europe shows that “what’s even worse is the groundwater story that people cannot see,” says the hydrologist Jay Famiglietti, director of the Global Institute for Water Security at Canada’s University of Saskatchewan.

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