Brewers worried by global warming

Czech firms and farmers are bracing themselves for climate change

Prague, April 1 (ČTK) — Breweries in the Czech Republic are afraid of drought and they are preparing water-saving measures just as other industrial firms and farmers who are bracing themselves for the impact of climate change predicted by the IPCC international panel, Czech dailies write today.

Daily Mlada frontá Dnes (MfD) writes that the climate change of which the latest report by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns will also impact the Czech Republic and scientists say grain and water quality will be threatened.

Heineken, which owns the Krušovice, Starobrno, Zlatopramen and Březňák breweries, has long registered a low surface of ground water in its wells in the Ore Mountains (Krušné hory), from which it takes water for Krušovice beer production, Lidové noviny (LN) writes.

The brewery has signed a pledge to save water at a recent conference Water 2014.

Signatures were also added by other firms in the Czech Republic, including Skanska, Škoda Auto and the ČEZ power utility, LN writes.

It writes that Heineken has lowered its water consumption by more than 15 percent during the past four years.

The current record holder is Starobrno with an average consumption of a mere 3.08 hectoliters of water per hectoliter of produced beer, compared with the average of seven hectoliters in other breweries, LN writes.

Nestlé, in addition to technological savings, has launched a competition “for water in the landscape,” LN writes.

It quotes the firm’s Jana Blechová as saying Nestlé wants to raise the public’s awareness of ways of reasonable use of water, support local communities and their practical projects aimed to increase the water retention capacity of the landscape.

“We also register climate change-related impacts. The level of humidity in the first half of the vegetation period, some species of pests spread to higher altitudes. With regard for the variability of the climate, to grow barley is risky,” MfD quotes Miroslav Trnka, from MendelUniversity, as saying.

He added that some farmers quit growing brewing barley.

Jaroslav Rožnovský, director of the Brno branch of the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute, said drought will be more frequent also due to higher temperature and the consequent higher evaporation, which is often forgotten.

“No measures to help retain water in the landscape are being taken, while it takes a long time before their effect becomes palpable,” Rožnovský said.

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