France on heat wave alert and water limits as drought worsens

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At the time of writing, 15 departments are in a red heat wave (heat wave) and 49 are on orange alert. In total, 21 departments are on yellow alert for storms.The departments on red alert include: Nord, Pas-de-Calais, Aisne, Oise, Val-d’Oise, Marne, Seine-et-Marne, Paris and surroundings, Yvelines, Eure, Seine-Maritime, Essonne, Somme.

The full list of alerts can be seen on the Weather France Vigilance website here.

Worsening drought

The heat worsened drought across the country, with 72 departments being affected to some extent by water restrictions. This marks an increase of 19 departments out of the 53 concerned at the end of July.

In the most affected departments, the use of water is only authorized for “priority use”, in particular for drinking, washing, for reasons of health and public safety.

The most up-to-date drought map can be found at government website on water Propluvia.

The east of the country is particularly affected, the Doubs being particularly dry. It even meant that many fish that normally live in the river were caught, stunned and transported to large oxygen tanks before being released into deeper, colder waters to ensure their survival.

Gérard Mougin, president of the Doubs fishing federation the Doubs Fishing Federation, told news source HuffPost: “If we have more years like this, we will have to harvest more and more fish. We need to find solutions to protect wildlife and biodiversity. ”

The La Savieuse river in the Territoire de Belfort – which is on severe drought alert – is also at an all time high, with its fish also threatened.

Serge Philemon, president of the fishing federation the Departmental Federation of Fishing in the Territoire de Belfort, told Agence France-Presse (AFP): “The time [we have] to intervene is very short. And we have to do it every year now, whereas before we would do it maybe once every three or four years.

Carole Begeot, chrono-environment researcher at University of Franche-Comté, warned that the drought was also killing trees at an “incredible rate.”

In the department of Sarthe (Pays de la Loire), which has been suffering from drought for three weeks, farmer Arnaud Doguet told AFP: “It is only dry land. It hurts my heart to see my cows living in the dust.

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