23 departments still face water restrictions
A total 23 departments still face some form of water restrictions, while residents and businesses in another four are being urged to be economic with their water use it has emerged.
The website of official water monitor Propluvia shows the departments with restrictions in place in yellow, orange and red according to the severity of the water situation towards the end of another year of low rainfall.
Areas of Alpes-Maritimes, Gard, Gers, Lozère, Tarn-et-Garonne, Côte D'or, Loir-et-Cher, Loiret, Maine-et-Loire, and Seine-Maritime are on the highest alert, meaning the non-priority uses of water are banned, including water used for agriculture. Water use is only permitted for health issues, civil security, as drinking water, or for necessary personal hygiene.
The six departments highlighted in orange on the Propluvia map - Somme, Val d'Oise, Isère, Vaucluse, Pyrénées-Orientales and Haute-Corse - are subject to the following restrictions: agricultural businesses should cut the number of water withdrawals and harvests made for farming by another 50%. Strong limits on washing your car, watering your garden or topping up your swimming pool.
Agricultural businesses in departments highlighted in yellow - Nord, Aisne, Calvados, Doubs, Haute-Saône, Loire, and Haute-Loire - should cut the number of water withdrawals and harvests for farming up to 50%, or restrict withdrawals to three times’ per week, whichever uses less water. Topping up your swimming pool or using extra water for water-based fun activities are completely banned. Watering your garden and washing your car are banned for several hours a day.
There are no specific restrictions for the four 'grey' departments - Eure, Orne, Bas-Rhin and Seine-et-Marne - but residents and businesses should try to save water where possible.
Anyone caught flouting the restrictions can face fines of €1,500, rising to €3,000 for repeat offenders.
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