France at high risk of drought

France is set to face widespread hosepipe bans after an exceptionally dry winter and spring sparked fears of a summer of drought – and scorching sun.

Forecasters have already started comparing it to the run-up to the killer heatwave in 2003 when nearly 15,000 died and the 1976 drought when lakes and rivers dried up.

Rainfall in the northern half of France is down 25% since September and by 70% since April this year. Analysts at the Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières say two-thirds of the aquifers have low or very low supplies of water.

Despite heavy rains at ...

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