87 departments on alert as France drought deepens

196 water restriction orders in place

Drought orders are now in place in 87 French departments, with 'crisis' restrictions in place in 41 departments.

A total of 196 specific orders have been issued to encourage or require professionals and individuals to save water, according to the French government's Propluvia website. Numerous departments have different levels of alert depending on the situation in highly localised areas.

Propluvia's latest drought warning map

A total 41 departments have at least one red crisis alert. The departments concerned (marked red on the map) are: l'Ain, Allier, Aube, Aude, Aveyron, Bouches-du-Rhône, Cantal, Charente, Charente-Maritime, Cher, Côte-d'Or, Creuse, Deux-Sèvres, Dordogne, Eure, Eure-et-Loir, Gard, Gers, Gironde, Haute-Garonne, Hautes-Pyrénées, Haute-Vienne, Ille-et-Vilaine, Indre, Indre-et-Loire, Loire-Atlantique, Loiret, Loir-et-Cher, Lot, Lot-et-Garonne, Maine-et-Loire, Nièvre, Oise, Puy-de-Dôme, Saône-et-Loire, Seine-et-Marne, Tarn, Tarn-et-Garonne, Vendée, Vienne and Yonne.

In affected areas of these departments, which are specifically and carefully identified on the official notices, water use is restricted to health, public safety, drinking water, or sanitation. All other uses are forbidden.

Read more: How you can find out about drought orders

Another 29 have areas where 'enhanced' orders are in place (orange on the map). These are the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Ardèche, Ariège, Corrèze, Doubs, Drôme, Hautes-Alpes, Haute-Saône, Hérault, Isère, Landes, Lozère, Marne, Mayenne, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Meuse, Moselle, Nord, Orne, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Pyrénées-Orientales, Rhône, Somme, Territoire-de-Belfort, Val-de-Marne, Val-d' Oise, Var, Vaucluse and Vosges.

Water use is subject to high levels of restriction even for agricultural purposes in affected areas, while watering gardens, golf courses and washing cars is also subject to stricter rules than under a yellow alert. Some specific bans - on filling swimming pools, for example - may be added to individual orders.

Yellow alerts are in place in 17 departments, with less restrictive measures for individuals and professionals. These are the Aisne, Ardennes, Bas-Rhin, Calvados, Essonne, Finistère, Haute-Loire, Haute-Marne, Haute-Savoie, Haut-Rhin, Jura, Loire, Pas-de-Calais, Sarthe, Savoie, Seine-Maritime and Yvelines.

Seven departments - Alpes-Maritimes, Corse-du-Sud, Haute-Corse, Hauts-de-Seine, Manche, Paris, and Seine-Saint-Denis - are on grey 'vigilance' alert. No legally enforceable restrictions are in place, but everyone is encouraged to save water where possible.

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