Friday, 19 July 2019

Severe Water Restrictions

The lower Claise Valley is drought declared, with severe water restrictions, since Wednesday. No one has ever seen anything like it. Water usage is limited to health and hygiene functions. Yohann Sionneau, the river technician has issued a note to clarify the Prefecture's regulations.

The rules for householders and individuals are as follows:

  • car washing except at carwash stations forbidden
  • watering flower beds and lawns forbidden
  • watering vegetable gardens forbidden between 10 am and 8 pm
  • topping up private swimming pools, ponds and dams forbidden
  • water bodies established on watercourses should restore all incoming flow
  • water bodies established as diversions from a watercourse must have their intakes closed
  • operation of the infrastructure is forbidden
  • emptying a water body is forbidden

Yohann signs off with the following cautionary note:

'I draw your attention to the fact that this drought and its repercussions on the flow rate of rivers is exceptional in its intensity and especially in how early it the season it is. There is a good chance that from the next Prefectural Order the upper Claise (at least) will also have extractions forbidden. The flow rate is already at critically low limits, leading to fears of drastic consequences if the weather doesn't change.

It is the duty of everyone to conserve our public water resources...'

In addition, businesses and local authorities are forbidden from street cleaning except where there is a public health issue. Lawns, playing fields and parks can only be watered after sunset and before sunrise. Planters and pots can be watered by hand.

Farmers are forbidden to irrigate unless they apply for a derogation for their maize crop.

These rules apply to all communities along the Claise and its tributaries, from the border with Indre to the confluence with the Aigronne at Le Grand Pressigny, as well as along the Muanne.

For a wider view of how the drought is treating France, you can check this colour coded map.

The price of fruit edges ever upwards as the drought continues. It's hot and dry and we are expecting another official heatwave period from Tuesday to Saturday next week.

UPDATE: I wrote this last night. At 3.30 this morning it rained heavily enough to waken me. Not enough to break the drought of course, and who knows when the next rain will be. The forecast says tomorrow, which will be incredibly frustrating, as we have a wonderful outdoor theatre event planned to fundraise for the Chapel. If you are in or near Preuilly please come -- tickets are 8 euros, payable at  the Maison de Pays or on the night.


For details of our private guided tours of chateaux, gardens, wineries, markets and more please visit the Loire Valley Time Travel website. We would be delighted to design a tour for you.

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Katie Zeller said...

We don't have restrictions yet. I'm glad to see you can water the veggies. I would be very sad if I lost them all to drought.

Susan said...

I think people would ignore any order to not water veggies here.

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