As farmer and Dijkgraaf T. explains: “Zele and Berlare are also regions were drinking water is pumped up, from below 6 meters, water that isn't available for farmers, but pumped. They are pumping up water for a big part of East Flanders here. This is also a concern when you are talking about water in this area, a concern for farmers, because we see in the last two summers that were very dry that pumping the drinking water also sucks up the water that is remaining above ground. As a result, the reserve in the ground doesn’t get a chance to be renewed” (December 2022).
K, another farmer, thinks that this water extraction may be the reason why some plots have become drier over the years.
“In the plots where our young cows are, the extraction pumps are not too far away. So the plot used to get very wet and it would flood in the winter, but its not wet in the winter anymore. So the lower areas of the field would be flooded and frozen, but for the last ten years this isn’t the case anymore. This may be because the water extraction zone pumps more water all the time, because the demographics are growing”. (K, may 2022)