Since the beginning of the measurements of Météo France in 1959, the second driest month of July has been recorded. France is experiencing a period of drought and therefore, is in an alarming situation. 100 municipalities are without drinking water and many of the water tables are dry. The communes are obliged to have drinking water delivered by trucks.   

The drought has led the majority of the country to implement water restrictions. In fact, two thirds of the territory has reached a crisis level, which requires the cessation of non-priority withdrawals, particularly agricultural ones. The prefects of the regions must gather the local authorities in order to define the prioritization of water uses. Many economic sectors are already affected by these water restrictions, starting with the agricultural sector.   

To alleviate this problem, some municipalities have resorted to desalination of sea water, but this is not without consequences for the environment, since this solution damages the marine environment. It takes 2 liters of salty water to produce 1 liter of drinking water, which leads to the rejection of a liter of very salty water in the sea, which makes life difficult for the marine flora and fauna. The best solution is to better reuse wastewater, as recommended by the European Commission.   

These emergency measures  may not be sufficient in the long term. The unprecedented situation that France is experiencing now, between heat waves and low rainfall, is a direct consequence of global warming, and may be repeated in the future or even amplified, which is why adaptation to these conditions becomes an obligation. 

A propos de Emma DEVELAY