20% of France’s water leaks away

Enough water to fill 430,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools lost in France’s leaking pipes every year, a survey has found

20 March 2014

FRANCE’s leaking water pipes lose one litre of drinking water in every five, a survey has revealed.

Each year, 1.3bn litres of water that has been treated for drinking never reach the tap, the study published in the magazine 60 millions de consommateurs found.

That’s enough water to fill 430,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools every year.

National targets set in 2010 charged prefectures across France to cut the rate of water leakage in pipes to 15%.

Using data from the National Office for Water and Aquatic Environments (ONEMA), the consumer watchdog has compiled a list of the prefectures it says are failing to hit the target.

A quarter of prefectures, it said, had leak rates of more than 25% of all water produced.

According to the list compiled by 60 millions de consommateurs, Digne-les-Baines, in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, is the worst performing prefecture with a reported leak rate of 54%, compared to a rate of just 4% in Le Mans.

The magazine estimates the bill to complete necessary work on France’s water pipes at between €1.5bn and €2bn per year.

The worst performing prefectures are:
Digne-les-Bains (Alpes-de-Haute-Provence) 54%
Bar-le-Duc (Meuse) 48%
Saint-Denis 46%
Nîmes ( Gard) 37%
Tulle (Corrèze) and Evreux ( Eure)

The best-performing are:

Le Mans (Sarthe) and Rennes (Ille-et- Vilaine) 4%
Blois (Loir-et-Low) 5%
Orléans (Loiret) and Moulins (Allier) 7%
Paris intramural 8.3%
Toulouse 11%
Marseille 15%

subscribe newsletter image
Stay informed, have your say, join the community
Boost your inbox with our editor’s pick of news and information about France for residents and second homeowners
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
Updated! Brexit and Britons In France
Featured Help Guide
What Brexit means for British residents, second homeowners and visitors in France - now and after December 31, 2020.
Get news, views and information from France