Only Aisne, Ariège, Corrèze, Hauts-de-Seine, Paris and Seine-Saint-Denis are not affected by at least one prefectural decree limiting certain uses of water, according to the site of the government drought information, Propluvia.

Propluvia’s map, which summarizes the different alert levels, turned red in a good part of the west of the Loire basin -Indre, Loire-Atlantique, Mayenne, Sarthe, Deux-Sèvres, Vendée, Vienne-, but also in the Drôme, the interior of the Var, the Lot and the south-east of the Val-de-Marne.

In these areas, only water withdrawals to ensure the exercise of priority uses are authorized, for health, civil security, the supply of drinking water and sanitation, withdrawals for agricultural purposes being prohibited.

“We have a record for the number of departments with restrictions” in France, noted the Ministry of Ecological Transition.

The State has also mobilized the French Office for Biodiversity (OFB) to carry out control operations aimed at ensuring compliance with the drought decrees in the departments concerned.

– Tanker trucks –

The flow of the Loire is down sharply, to 129 m3 per second on July 20, against 475 m3 / s at the beginning of the month and the Loire-Atlantique has been placed on “drinking water alert” since July 20.

The uses of water are regulated there “in order to avoid shortages of drinking water” and the “degradation of the quality of the water”, indicates the prefecture.

In Franche-Comté the situation is just as catastrophic, to the point that several communes in the Doubs no longer have drinking water and must be supplied by tank trucks, according to the prefecture.

Same problem in the south of France, in Saintes-Marie-de-la-Mer for example: “It’s complicated to find fresh water”, warns the mayor Christelle Aillet (LR). “Here we are at the end of the end of the Bouches-du-Rhône. It has not rained for eight months and as the Rhône is very low, the salt rises up to 20 kilometers inland. So we have a water problem. and volume, it has become for us the sinews of war”, explained to AFP Ms. Aillet.

For its part, the Vaucluse has banned access to all of its forest areas for the day due to the high risk of fire.

Ditto in the Bouches-du-Rhône where the prefecture has extended until Wednesday 27 included the closure of the 25 forest massifs of the department, including the very touristy Calanques National Park, due to the persistence of high heat and strong blows of expected wind.

The Var or Haute-Corse have also cordoned off several massifs. The prefectures call on people to adopt preventive behavior so as not to risk causing a fire (not to smoke in wooded areas or to barbecue in the forest, etc.) but also to immediately alert the authorities if they witness a start of fire.

– “Worse than in 1976” –

In Burgundy, the drought red alert only concerns the Beaune area (Côte d’Or), renowned for its wines, which suggests that the harvest will still be very early. The 2020 record could even be beaten: that year, the harvest started on August 16 in Beaune, unheard of since… 1556.

Traffic on the rivers and canals is also very disrupted: navigation is thus interrupted on part of the Burgundy canal and in the Nancy region, while many barges on the Rhine are only loaded to a third of their capacity, so as not to scrape the bottom of the river.

Agriculture is also suffering in areas a priori spared by the lack of water.

In Pas-de-Calais, for example, Jean-Pierre Clipet, FDSEA manager, is worried about “dropping yields, with two phenomena that combine, water stress but also heat, affecting all crops, wheat , beets, vegetables… In the Boulonnais, colleagues tell me that it’s worse than in 1976, they don’t know how they will feed their animals this winter”.