More than 100 municipalities in France without drinking water

More than 100 municipalities in France without drinking water
Credit: Belga

Due to the extreme drought, more than 100 municipalities in France are without potable water, and are being supplied by lorries as much as possible while the Government is looking for a solution.

In some parts of France, the extremely dry weather is beginning to take its toll, said French Minister of Ecological Transition Christophe Béchu during a visit to the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department in the south of the country on Friday.

"There is no more water in the pipes, so the municipalities are now being supplied by trucks," Béchu told France Info, adding that how smoothly the supply goes depends on the municipality's size and whether or not it is in the mountains.

The hit areas include the Doubs department in the east of France, as well as the Drôme and Var departments in the south of the country, where riverbeds are now dry.

France's Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, who called the drought "historic," set up an inter-ministerial crisis unit today – making it possible for the French Government and the country's different departments to better coordinate possible measures.

Currently, 62 departments (of the 101) are "in crisis," she said.

In more than half of the municipalities in France, restrictions on water use have already been imposed: people are not allowed to wash their cars, water their gardens or fill up their private swimming pools. In several areas, farmers are also banned from watering their crops.

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While the measures aim to prevent even more municipalities from running out of drinking water, it is mainly agriculture that is currently experiencing problems due to the drought, said Borne.

"The exceptional drought we are currently experiencing is depriving many communities of water and is a tragedy for our farmers, our ecosystems and biodiversity," she said in a statement, adding that the potential impact on energy production is also being monitored.

The situation is likely to become even more worrying in the next two weeks, the French Government warned.

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