After Paris and its surrounding areas issued a condition of vigilance on Tuesday owing to water scarcity, the whole territory of metropolitan France is now officially in a state of drought.
Over the past few weeks, the nearly total absence of precipitation has contributed to the current spell of dryness. “With a rainfall deficit of 88 percent, France has suffered the driest month of July in its history,” said Christophe Béchu, the Minister of Ecological Transition, on Twitter. “This is the driest month of July that France has ever experienced.”
According to a statement released by the Ministry of Ecological Transition, as many as 57 of the 96 departments that make up the metropolitan territory are on red alert owing to a scarcity of water, while 32 of the departments are on orange alert.
According to the Ministry, the climate crisis is considered to be the primary responsible party for the modification of the “water cycle,” which is characterized by drought episodes that are “more and more frequent” and that begins “earlier and earlier during the year.”
The drought has been further exacerbated by the two intense heat waves that have rocked France in recent weeks, with record temperatures being recorded in several of the country’s cities, and by the third heat wave that began this week and will affect practically the whole country.
There are restrictions on water use for irrigation and washing cars in large parts of France. These restrictions have even led several departments to use tankers to provide drinking water to some populations. These restrictions are particularly severe in the mountainous department of Haute-Savoie, which is currently on high alert.
In addition, agriculture is suffering severe setbacks throughout a significant portion of the country due to the drought.
The Hydrological Forecasting and Monitoring Committee, often known as CASH, recently got together to evaluate the current hydrological state of the Franche metropolitan region and investigate the potential for a drought this year.
The severity of the dryness of forests is exacerbated when heatwaves and droughts occur together. This makes it much simpler for forest fires to spread, a significant issue in several regions of France this summer.