France: cabinet activates task force over 'historic' drought

'Several municipalities without water. Tragedy for farmers'

05 August, 11:59

    (ANSAmed) - PARIS, 05 AGO - The French government is dealing with an unprecedented drought that has affected several areas of the country for days. Premier Elisabeth Borne has set up an inter-ministerial task force to deal with the crisis. The task force is scheduled to meet at 11:30 local time. The objective is to centralize information to better deal with the situation.

    "The exceptional drought that we have currently registered has left several municipalities without water and it is a tragedy for our farmers, our ecosystems and biodiversity", said government sources, fearing that the drought "is the most serious ever recorded in our country".

    After an excessively dry winter and spring, France's torrid summer has dried up water tables. Farmers suffer and municipalities are concerned that they won't be able to provide drinking water to the population. A total of 93 departments (provinces) out of 96 have faced more or less significant restrictions connected to water and 62 departments - or two-thirds of the country - have been declared at a "crisis" level. At this level, watering grass, washing a car or irrigating crops are banned activities.

    July 2022 was the second-driest month ever registered in France, with a deficit of rain of about 84% compared to the seasonal average in the 1991-2020 period. The impact on agriculture has been harsh, as well as on wildfires that have devastated hectares of vegetation, in particular in Gironde, favored by the scorching heat. Meanwhile, French energy giant EDF has said that it could further reduce its nuclear production over the next days, due to the high temperature of rivers. (ANSAmed).

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