Nothing beats a good shower to get rid of salt buildup after swimming in the sea on a hot day. Perhaps too hot since for ten years the episodes of dryness are more numerous each year. Cities must deal with the consequences of global warming and limit water consumption. With this in mind, many coastal towns have abandoned beach showers deemed too water-intensive.
This is the case for the town hall of Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie (Vendée) which had already anticipated the change in 2016: “At the time we realized that five million liters of water per year (5,000 cubic meters) left in the shower. We said to ourselves that throwing millions of liters of drinking water into nature was no longer reasonable and that it was no longer possible”, explains François Blanchet, member of the regional council of Vendée, to BFMTV.
This is also the case for Grande-Motte (Hérault) which has seen its 15 showers removed. Not far from there, in Palavas-Les-Flots (Hérault). The municipality has replaced the showers with footbaths, so that beach users can clean their feet. For the mayor of Palavas, this is a colossal saving: 40% of water saved compared to a conventional shower. That is five million liters of water, almost half of the usual expenses.
It is also an ecological necessity because the reserves of drinking water in times of drought are increasingly reduced, but also because the showers were not connected to the city’s sanitation network, leaving shampoos and gels showers polluted the beach down to groundwater.