US: Drought and water restrictions: what do the different alert thresholds correspond to?

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This Friday, July 29, 93 metropolitan departments are on drought alert, the intensity of which is classified into four levels. According to these thresholds, more or less important water restrictions are adopted.

Le seuil d'alerte sécheresse en France le vendredi 29 juillet 2022. © L'Express The dryness alert threshold in France on Friday July 29, 2022.

since this Wednesday, the Haute-Marne and the Hautes-Alpes reached the "crisis" threshold, the highest level on the 'Drought alerts scale in France. They join the 44 other departments already placed under this status, while 38 others are on "reinforced alert" and 9 in "alert". In all, 93 departments, out of the 96 in the metropolis, are affected by at least one threshold.

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After a drier winter than normal, the third hottest Spring and a month in July which should become the driest ever recorded, drought phenomena logically multiply throughout the territory. Prefects are therefore led to take measures to limit the use of water. In order for the limitations to be well defined, the State has set four alert levels: the vigilance threshold, the alert, the reinforced alert and the crisis.


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of restrictions applying from the second Left, the entire national territory is therefore concerned by economies. Thus, departments such as dawn, Aisne or Moselle, placed on a "alert" level, must reduce their water sample in several areas. Farmers have the obligation to reduce their use by almost 50% per week, while the watering of green spaces and private gardens are limited at certain times. Certain nautical activities and actions aimed at filling or emptying water deductions, such as artificial lakes, are prohibited.

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In the event of "crisis", the use of water is limited to the necessary

necessary are the restrictions in force in the 38 departments concerned by "the reinforced alert", such as the Saône-et-Loire, the Rhône, the two Alsatian departments, the North and Finistère. For farmers in these regions, the water withdrawal limits can exceed 50% per week, while for individuals, the use of water, very limited, can be prohibited.

Finally, 46 departments, half of the concerned by the drought, reached the highest threshold, that of "crisis". Among them, let us quote all the departments of the Southwest and almost all those of the Atlantic facade. At this level, the authorities limit the levies to priority activities, those of the fields of health, health, access to drinking water or civil security, very requested due to of fires.

In order to concern all the actors, awareness -raising operations are implemented by the government, which must also control the correct application of the measures. The latter may even have to extend: the forecasts over three months of Météo France indeed report a "hotter scenario than normal for the period from August to October".

Drought: Disalinizing sea water, an effective solution to overcome the lack of water? .
© Francois Anardin / AFP While more than 100 municipalities no longer have access to drinking water, one of the solutions seems to be using sea water. Established on the island of Molène in Finistère or in the village of Rogliano in Corsica, this technique is now used on the island of Groix, in Brittany. But is not without danger on the environment. More than 100 municipalities no longer have access to drinking water . In question, the drought that affects all of France and a low rainfall.

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