Bulgaria’s heatwave: Free mineral water in Varna, Sofia, warnings on some dam levels

With temperatures in Bulgaria continuing to soar in what is forecast to be a record hot July, Varna municipality has announced that on July 11 there will be free of charge distribution of mineral water at three points in the Black Sea city.

The stations also will offer free measuring of blood pressure, the municipality said.

The stations, near Varna Commercial High School, on Nezavisimost Square, as well as in front of the Tourist Information Centre, will be open from 12.30pm to 3.30pm on July 11 and will operate on other days when temperatures are high, Varna municipality said.

The municipality said that the fountains in the central part of Varna were working and in order to prevent waste, taps had been installed on some of the fountains.

The forecast maximum temperature in Varna for July 11 is 34 degrees Celsius, with the same maximum high forecast for the southern Black Sea city of Bourgas and Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia.

These are not the highest temperatures forecast for Thursday, with Sandanski set for 40 deg C, Rousse 39 deg, Plovdiv, Pleven, Montana and Veliko Turnovo 38 deg and Kurdzhali and Yambol 37 deg.

On July 9, Sofia municipality also distributed free mineral water, in the square adjoining the Serdika metro station in the centre of the city.

For a third consecutive day, all of Bulgaria is subject to a Code Yellow warning of potentially hazardous weather on July 11 because of forecast high temperatures.

Temperatures in Bulgaria are forecast to rise even further on July 12, with 40 deg C forecast for Yambol, Pleven and Sandanski and 39 degrees forecast for Plovdiv, Silistra, Veliko Turnovo, Vidin and Montana, while all other cities will be well above the 30-degree mark.

Bulgarian National Radio reported that Sebihan Mehmed, the mayor of Krumovgrad, a town in the Kurdzhali district in southern Bulgaria, had issued an order banning the use of drinking water for irrigation, watering green areas, washing streets, pavements and cars.

The ban was imperative to stave off the risk of water restrictions in the town. There was a reduced flow rate of drinking water sources in Krumovgrad municipality, the report said.

Earlier in July, Bulgaria’s Ministry of Environment and Water issued a warning that levels of seven water sources in various parts of the country were lower than in previous years.

They include those used for drinking and household needs. Bulgarian National Television reported that some farmers were worried that supplies of water for irrigation may not be adequate.

The Ticha, Kamchia and Asenovets dams, which are mainly used for domestic water supply, are emptier than they were at this time in past years, the Ministry of Environment and Water said.

At this stage, restrictions on the drinking water supply are not envisaged, BNT said.

In Kamchia, which supplies nearly a million people in Varna, Bourgas, the seaside resorts and part of Sliven, there are quantities for half a year ahead. However, the supply of water to Varna has been reduced by nearly 20 per cent.

At the moment, there are dams from which substantial water volumes are usually used for irrigation but that have alarmingly low levels compared to previous years, given the lack of spring floods and another very dry year : Yastrebino, Ticha, Topolnitsa, Koprinka, Zhrebchevo, Domlyan and Pyasachnik.

Ticha dam is also used for drinking and domestic water supply to Shoumen, Veliki Preslav and Turgovishte.

According to national weather bureau data, in July 2024, the average monthly temperature is expected to be higher than normal, meaning that increased consumption of water is likely. According to the forecast, no significant rainfall is expected in Bulgaria this month.

The prolonged hot weather in 2024 in Bulgaria began in June. The weather bureau said that June 2024 was the warmest six month of the year in Bulgaria since records began in 1930.

(Photo: flickr.com/ ricardo)

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