Drought in France forces authorities to place new restrictions on water usage
07/28/2022 // Mary Villareal // Views

France is now on drought alert and restrictions have been put in place regarding water usage as the country battles an exceptionally dry summer.

Drought is impacting most of the country, with 86 of the 96 French mainland departments currently on some level of drought alert.

In France, there are four levels of alert: vigilance, alert (yellow), heightened alert (orange) and crisis (red). Currently, 28 of the departments are listed as in crisis, with the regions of Centre-Val de Loir and Pays de la Loire being the ones most severely impacted. Brittany, a region not typically known for hot temperatures, is also seeing much of its area under the "alert" or "heightened alert" designation.

The eastern side of the country is also heavily impacted, especially in the mountainous areas in Isere.

Water restrictions in France can include measures aimed at larger operations, such as limits on usage at farms and factories that can target individuals with limits on watering gardens or washing cars.

In areas where these restrictions are in place, information is shared with residents in the form of flyers, letters, public posters, text messages or online communication.

Breaking the water restriction laws by accident (usually when a person has not been informed) could lead to fines of €1,500 ($1,530), rising to €3,000 ($3,060) for repeat offenders.

However, a single person is unlikely to receive this fine as controls and checks are more focused on farms and companies.

Nadine Decarlis, mayor of Bargemon in the Var department, said controls on individuals are not systematic and that authorities will not always be watching over people. Situations will be addressed on a case-by-case basis, although she said she prefers to inform people of the rules' necessity rather than fining them for breaking such rules.


Drought affecting various industries

With the drought impacting everything from agriculture to tourism to electricity production and the ability to cool nuclear reactors that power France, towns that have seen their taps run dry are now worrying about their animals as creeks dry up. Tourists were banned from outdoor showers to conserve water.

Even the transport of supplies has been threatened. France transported 52 million tons of cargo on its waterways in 2021, which is equivalent to 2,625,000 trucks on the road. Several million tons of coal and petrol also sail down 184 kilometers of the Rhine river, which runs along the Franco-German border.

However, this is no longer possible because water is lacking this year. The river relies on melting snow from the alps in the spring, but there has been little rain since April.

Farmers, meanwhile, are concerned about this year's harvest. Winegrower Cedric Chiapello said his vines have started to wither, and the grapes are no longer growing. "If it doesn't rain, we're going to lose a lot of harvests."

He also thinks that with the heat wave and drought falling at the same time, harvest will be delayed. (Related: Europe hit by severe vegetable shortage… citizens who don’t grow their own veggies now facing empty shelves.)

To cope with the drought, water agencies are expected to spend up to an additional €100 million ($101.96 million) to help agricultural sectors.

There are also some points of concern, such as the Serre-Poncon lake, the country's largest water reservoir located at the crossroads of the Hautes-Alpes and Alpes-de-Haute-Provence departments. Its water levels are at their lowest since construction was completed in 1961, and are now six meters below the optimal level.

The National Federation of Fishing in France has also launched a campaign to warn people about the dangerous and continuous decline in river levels, which it believes may be the reason for the disappearance of many species.

Visit Climate.news for more updates about the ongoing drought and heatwaves in parts of Europe.

Watch the video below for more information about the heatwaves and forest fires in Europe.

This video is from the Salomo channel on Brighteon.com.

More related stories:

Countries racing to take over global agriculture market following disappearance of Ukrainian and Russian food exports.

Drought threatens US wheat harvest, deepening global supply challenges.

Heatwaves, forest fires in Europe devastate crops and livestock.

Sources include:





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