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Norwegian royal properties must stop watering the gardens following drought

After an unusually cold and snowy winter, Norway is now in a heat wave that has been there since the beginning of May.

There has been too little rain, and many farmers are now at risk of losing their crops. It was also announced last week that there is a lack of CO2 to clean the drinking water. This led to the City of Oslo on Monday announcing a ban relating to water use in gardens. It is now forbidden to water in all gardens in Oslo. This is done to ensure enough drinking water for the city.

This also affects the Royal Family. The Norwegian royal family owns three important buildings located in the municipality of Oslo. This is Oscarshall, a small castle on Bygdøy, The King and Queen’s summer residence Bygdøy royal estate, near Oscarshall, and the most central building is the royal palace in downtown Oslo. All of these three properties have large landscaped gardens with many rare trees and flowers that need a lot of water.

The gardens at Bygdøy royal estate. Photo: Ole Johan Hildre, Det kongelige hoff / The Royal Court.

The ban on the watering of gardens also applies to the Royals. On Tuesday, the royal court published the following message regarding the watering ban on the Facebook page for the castle park in Oslo:

“The irrigation ban in Oslo also applies to the parks. Therefore, our irrigation facilities in the castle park have now been switched off. It is allowed to water by hand, so we will be able to keep new plantations alive until the access to water is getting well again!

However, be aware of: When it gets as dry and hot as now, the risk of what is called “summer branch drop” increases. This is a situation where trees suddenly release large branches because they get stressed by the heat and the lack of water. We would therefore urge you to be careful close to trees and do not sit under big and old trees.”

Parts of the upper garden at the Oscarshall. Photo: Anne-Sophie Ofrim via Wikimedia Commons.

The water situation in Oslo is currently under control, but may be critical. Oslo’s citizens have been notified that they may need to boil the water from Monday. If the lack of CO2 becomes continuing, parts of those living in the inner city must prepare for voluntary evacuation by the end of July.

The castle park has three artificial lakes who is 5200 square meters. They hold about 5 million litres of water.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written six books on historical subjects and more than 1.500 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.