France hit by drought: What you need to know about water restrictions
Here’s what you need to know about the measures being taken by local authorities in France to battle low water levels.
Water usage is being restricted across large parts of France as a result of the worsening drought situation affecting swathes of the country.
And to avoid these levels sinking any lower regional authorities are taking action and putting in place restrictions on water usage.
How many departments are affected?
From July 20th 68 departments have adopted at least one of the measures with 179 local orders limiting the use of water currently in place.
Different levels of seriousness are indicated on the site, ranging from the most serious level "Crise" (red) when water can only be used in situations considered a priority for example for health related reasons, as well as for drinking water and hygiene, to the lowest "Vigilance" (grey) when people are advised to economise their water use.
In the southwestern coastal city of La Rochelle in the department of Charente-Maritime – currently on high alert for drought – local authorities have decided to stop street cleaning and are limiting the irrigation of green spaces.
How do local authorities decide on what restrictions need to be taken?
Every month a water report is published by regional environmental departments which the local authorities can then use to cross-reference with the alert levels to decide what action needs to be taken.
Drought orders are put in place for a limited period of time and in a limited area.