Faced with an “exceptional drought” and a “historic situation that many territories are going through”, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has decided to activate the interministerial crisis unit, Matignon announced on Friday.
“The most serious ever recorded in our country”
It will meet during the day, according to a government source. “This drought is the most serious ever recorded in our country” and “the weather forecasts suggest that the situation could continue over the next 15 days, or even become even more worrying”, underlines Matignon.
“The exceptional drought that we are currently experiencing is depriving many municipalities of water and is a tragedy for our farmers, our ecosystems and biodiversity,” added the services of the Prime Minister in a press release.
This lack of rain “is aggravated by the accumulation of successive heat waves which reinforce evaporation and water needs”, explains this source. “Faced with this historic situation”, the Prime Minister has decided to activate the interministerial crisis unit and calls on everyone to preserve our water resources”, writes Matignon.
This cell must make it possible “to ensure regular feedback from the Prefects of the departments of the most affected areas, to anticipate the possible activation of the ORSEC + water + plans for the agglomerations concerned and to coordinate the necessary civil security measures. (water supply to municipalities, delivery of drinking water, etc.)”, according to this source.
The unit will monitor the impacts of the drought
It will also monitor “the impacts of this drought for our energy production and transport infrastructure and for our agricultural sector, in particular the livestock sector”.
Elisabeth Borne asked the Prefects to bring together, “as of next week, in each area of tension the local water commissions and, where they exist, the other local consultation structures for water management” in order to define “the prioritization of uses in case of necessity”.
“Restrictive measures have been taken and will be taken wherever necessary in order to guarantee priority uses of health, civil security and the supply of drinking water”, specifies Matignon again.
93 departments were subject to water restrictions on Thursday
On Thursday, 93 departments were subject to water restrictions, 62 of which are considered “in crisis”, the highest level of alert. Since Wednesday, Creuse and Nièvre have joined them.
The debate is also raging on social networks around the exemptions granted to golf courses which can still water their greens even when the department which houses them is in “drought crisis”.
Serious consequences also for EDF which could further lower its production of nuclear electricity in the coming days, or even shut down a reactor at the Tricastin power plant (Drôme) due to the high temperatures of the rivers.