The Info Sécheresse site has been warning for several months about the too low level of groundwater. As of March 12, 2023, the site counts at thirty-seven the number of departments whose level of drinking water reserves is “very low”. Following these observations from 1806 stations for 442 water tables monitored, Christophe Béchu met twice with the prefects in charge of the seven large basins. The purpose of these meetings was to define the measures to be taken to anticipate a possible water shortage this summer in certain French departments.
Following these meetings, six departments were affected by water restrictions. Indeed, the majority of Pyrénées-Orientales, and part of Var, Bouches-du-Rhône and Ain are impacted. Partial restrictions have also been applied in Drôme and Ardèche since March 6.
In parallel with these statements, during his visit to the Agricultural Show, Emmanuel Macron reaffirmed his intention of a “sobriety plan for water” at the microphone of BFMTV. This Saturday, March 11, then interviewed by TV5 Monde, Christophe Béchu talks about a sobriety plan which will be presented in the days to come. This plan would therefore tend to generalize water restriction measures to the entire territory. He speaks of a plan which “is very comprehensive, it includes around fifty measures, it deals with sobriety, quantity, quality, financial means, governance” as AFP reports. However, we do not yet know whether these measures will be incentive or mandatory.
In the live following the discussions with the prefects, the Minister for Ecological Transition and Bérangère Couillard, Secretary of State to the Minister for Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion in charge of Ecology, already mentioned the future measures that could be imposed on all French people.
On March 15, a new point is planned with the prefects, following the week of rains which would make it possible to begin to fill the levels of the water tables. This point will possibly be an opportunity to officially present this sobriety plan or to discuss it in more detail.
Discover the measures already mentioned by Christophe Béchu this Saturday, March 11 in our slideshow below.