The French government has announced that almost all the central strip of the country (from Nantes to Dijon) is in “crisis alert” as well as parts of the southwest, near Toulouse.
This means that water can only be used for the most essential needs – such as drinking water, sanitary and public health usage. Agricultural usage, however, is prohibited under this alert.
Map: Propluvia Ministère de la Transition Ecologique et Solidaire
France has four levels of drought alert.
The first level asks the public to watch their water consumption. Level two cuts water usage for farming by 50 percent and prohibits activities such as watering gardens and golf courses, and washing cars.
The level three alert or “enhanced alert” imposes limits higher than 50 percent on farming and prohibits activities such as watering gardens, green spaces, golf courses, and washing cars entirely.
Level four, the highest alert level, bans agricultural activity in its entirety and bans all other non-priority uses, meaning water can only be used for drinking, sanitation, and public health uses.
A government blog post said that the drought was most likely due to low levels of rain during the winter and spring and extremely hot summer months.
If you are affected by the water restrictions, here are some useful tips to save water.
- Limit your shower time and prioritise showers over baths
- Install water-efficient toilets and faucets
- Repair any leaks
- Only do full loads of laundry
- Try to re-use rain water
To find out what the restrictions are where you live, click here.
La sécheresse – drought
Les restriction d’eau – water restrictions
Les mesures d'économie d'eau – Water saving measures
Usages prioritaires – Priority usage