No, France isn't about to ban private pools because of drought

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25 Aug, 2022 Updated Thu 25 Aug 2022 15:13 CEST
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Photo: Fakhri Labib / Unsplash

French drought rules already limit the use of private swimming pools in many areas, but now media reports suggest that the country is about to ban private pools.


"I do not say no." 

MP Julien Bayou of France's green party Europe Écologie Les Verts (EELV) raised more than a few eyebrows when he apparently suggested live on news channel BFMTV that France should ban swimming pools in private homes.

READ ALSO Hosepipe bans, well water and pools – your questions answered on France’s drought restrictions

Asked about the drought that has affected France this summer, he added: "You understand that it is the absence of action which today means that we can no longer use water," he said.


“The challenge is to repair the effects of climate change, to mitigate its future effects and to prepare the country. We need a vast adaptation plan, that's the challenge.” 

READ ALSO How France plans to minimise future droughts

Unsurprisingly, the social media backlash was huge and pretty much instantaneous - as more than 3 million people in France have a private pool.

A Twitter poll conducted by the Estelle Midi show found nearly three-quarters of nearly 8,000 respondents were against the idea.



The fact is France - home to the most private swimming pools in Europe and the second most in the world - is not about to ban householders from installing swimming pools at home.

Let's be honest, the Macrons have just had a pool installed at presidential summer hideaway Brégançon at a cost of €34,000.

There’s little point, according to Joëlle Pulinx Challet, general secretary of la Fédération des professionnels de la piscine et du spa. “Private swimming pools represent only 0.12 percent of total water consumption in France,” she told La Dépêche du Midi

READ ALSO French farmers warn of rising prices for fruit and vegetables after drought

“A swimming pool is never emptied. It consumes 15m3 of water per year, on average, equivalent to the amount of water needed to produce one kilo of beef.”

The goal, she said, would be to guide pool owners towards responsible use of the private pool so as not to waste water: "Use covers to avoid evaporation [when pools are not in use] and even avoid big jumps..."

READ ALSO France proposes ‘crackdown’ on private jet flights amid climate crisis

Bayrou later clarified his comments on Twitter, pointing out that water restrictions are already in place and that the intention should always be to ensure water is available to everyone for vital everyday needs.


If you have a private pool and you live in an area on the highest level of drought restriction, there are rules in place on using or filling the pool.

Green senator Mélanie Vogel followed up in support. "Ecologists do not WANT to ban private swimming pools,” she tweeted, while issuing a reminder of the vital importance of drinking water.


READ ALSO ‘Water is for drinking’ – Vigilante sabotages jacuzzis in French tourist resort

Water restrictions are in place in every département of mainland France, while the majority have hit crisis levels this summer.

“We have to distinguish between leisure use and vital use,” hydrology expert Nicolas Roche told Nice Matin. “The problem of water management must be part of a global analysis. 

“We have to think in terms of our water resources and our needs, and these vary from one country to another, from one département to another.” 

France does, however, appear to be more seriously considering regulating private jets



2022/08/25 15:13

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