After a very dry winter and spring and the June early heatwave, much of France is currently under drought warnings and/or alerts, which means water restrictions for residents.
When drought alerts are in place, the level of restriction will vary depending on the commune.
We take a look at the departments where warnings and alerts are currently imposed.
This map gives a general overview of the areas where water supplies are most threatened, with green departments not under any warning or alert, and the others classed from light to dark orange according to the seriousness of the situation.
However, in reality, restrictions often do not cover a whole department, so the maps below reflect area variations in greater detail.
1. Departments under vigilance warnings
‘Vigilance’ (‘warning’) is the lowest level of drought restriction in France and involves raising awareness and encouraging individuals to reduce their water usage.
The map below reflects the departments which are largely or completely covered by a vigilance warning.
You can find out further information about your commune on the government’s Propluvia drought alert website.
2. Departments under alerte-level restrictions
Water restrictions begin to be imposed from ‘alert’ (‘alerte’) level, which imposes limits on the amount of water which can be used for farming and for watering green spaces such as golf courses.
Residents will be required to reduce the amount of water they use to fill swimming pools, wash cars and water their garden among other actions.
Farmers will have to reduce their water usage by up to 50% (or stop using it for up to three days a week).
The map below reflects the departments in which there are alertes are in place, although the restrictions will not necessarily cover the whole area. Further details can be found on Propluvia.
3. Departments under alerte renforcée-level restrictions
The next level of restrictions is ‘reinforced alert’ (‘alerte renforcée’), which tightens the above limitations and could also lead to some usages being temporarily banned.
Farmers must reduce their water usage by at least 50% or stop using it for 3.5 days each week.
The map below reflects the French departments in which there is at least one reinforced alert in place, perhaps in conjunction with lower level alertes.
4. Departments under crise-level restrictions
The final restriction level is ‘crisis’ (‘crise’), under which water may only be used for essential reasons such as drinking, cooking or washing.
Below is a map showing the departments where some areas are under crisis-level restrictions already.
Please note that this information is correct as of June 30, 2022, and the situation is likely to evolve.